Venkat Raman –
A new organisation committed to promoting closer trade relations between New Zealand and India has been formed with its headquarters in Auckland.
A similar body has been established in Mumbai to enhance two-way cross-border dialogue and activities, with Uday Madhav Chitale, Senior Partner, M P Chitale & Co, Chartered Accountants.
‘India Trade Alliance’ (ITA) is headed by Giri Gupta, an indefatigable businessman with a number of commercial interests including the Indian Weekender, a string of motels and other properties. As Chairman, he is expected to bring synergies and energies into the new organisation, which he and his colleagues see as ‘not only timely but also the need of the hour,’ on the face of inertia seen in other organisations of similar structure.
ITA would hopefully outclass its now defunct predecessor the ‘India Trade Group,’ which was established in November 2006 only to last less than three years.
But ITA has the maturity of leadership and of course lessons of the past.
Its impressive office-bearers include Dr Don Brash (former Governor of Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Leader of National Party) and Dr Richard Worth (Former National MP and Minister), both as Deputy Chairmen, Vijay Goel (a successful Chartered Accountant) as Treasurer and Gawan Bakshi (a Property graduate and investment advisor at a large corporate) as the Assistant Secretary.
Among the founders are Denis McNamara (popular lawyer and Honorary Consul of Mexico), Alistair Bell (Consultant to Government, Health, Commercial and Education sectors), Alan Towers (Chartered Accountant and Treasurer of the erstwhile ITG) and New Zealand First MP Mahesh Bindra.
It would be unfinished business for Dr Worth, who motivated this reporter and four others to establish ITG, in the process of which Mr Gupta and others came into engagement. His passion for India is unquestionable and as a former Minister and National Party MP, he has had ample opportunities to promote relationship with India. In fact, it was after his private (and first) visit to India in September 2006 that he realised the immense potential that India offers and established ITG, which faced closure overcome by circumstances.
But this time, there appears to be stronger resolve to make ITA work.
“As India sits on the cusp of taking the next step on the world stage headed by a visionary, it is timely that New Zealand trade relations with India take a step forward as well. To bridge the existing gap in the Indo-Kiwi trade relations at a time when the markets in China, which is currently our biggest trade partner, seem to be on shaky ground, the launch of India Trade Alliance is not just timely but is also the need of the hour,” Dr Worth said.
The Executive Committee also comprises successful businesswoman Shivani Arora and former New Zealand Cricketer Stephen Brown.
“We will induct more members into the Committee in due course. Membership to ITA will be by invitation and we will shortly announce our Mission Statement and proposed programmes,” Mr Gupta said.
We will review the potential of this new organisation in our next issue.
Photo: Giri Gupta, Dr Don Brash, Dr Richard Worth, Vijay Goel, Gawan Bakshi, Uday Chitale