In an effort to foster enhanced ease of doing business, trade, and tourism, India and New Zealand have entered discussions about incorporating the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) within the island nation. The commerce ministry revealed that this topic was at the forefront of bilateral talks between Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and New Zealand’s Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor in New Delhi. This strategic move aims to leverage advanced payment systems to deepen their economic cooperation.
Furthermore, the two nations are actively considering avenues to facilitate the import of wooden logs from New Zealand, marking a noteworthy expansion in their trade horizons. The discussions transpired during a significant meeting, underscoring the commitment to strengthening their trade ties and exploring novel opportunities for collaboration.
As a crucial step forward, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Payments NZ have initiated preliminary conversations concerning the UPI system. Both ministers acknowledged and endorsed this move, agreeing to continue the dialogue to propel the adoption of UPI within New Zealand. The envisioned integration is anticipated to foster seamless business interactions between the two nations and drive trade and tourism.
The push for this integration draws inspiration from previous successful instances where UPI was integrated with global payment systems. Notably, the NPCI previously joined hands with France’s Lyra and Singapore’s PayNow to facilitate cross-border transactions. With a successful track record and growing global presence, the NPCI is also in negotiations to extend the reach of UPI services to the United States, Europe, and West Asia, thereby expanding the horizons of digital financial interactions.
Alongside financial collaborations, the ministers discussed potential areas of cooperation in diverse sectors such as agriculture, horticulture, pharmaceuticals, and more. The shared vision of fostering air connectivity between India and New Zealand led to the finalisation of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that aims to further liberalise their bilateral Air Services Agreement, emphasising the commitment to strengthening physical connectivity.
In the context of trade statistics, India’s exports to New Zealand witnessed a notable increase, surging from USD 487.6 million in 2021-22 to USD 548 million in 2022-23. Correspondingly, imports also demonstrated growth, rising from USD 375 million in 2021-22 to USD 478 million in 2022-23. This evolving economic dynamic underscores the mutual benefits of their expanding trade relationship.
Furthermore, the two nations are united by educational pursuits, with Indian students constituting the second-largest group of international students in New Zealand. This educational bond is complemented by a robust trade exchange, where India’s imports encompass a wide range of products from logs and forestry goods to precious metals and gems.
As a testament to their growing economic collaboration, major Indian IT firms have established their presence in New Zealand, and notable Indian banks like Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, and New India Assurance operate commercially in the country. This multifaceted partnership exemplifies the shared commitment of India and New Zealand towards fostering mutual growth, innovation, and cooperation.