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Governor-General completes successful visit to New Delhi

Issue date: 
Friday, 12 September 2008

The Governor-General, Hon Anand Satyanand, and Mrs Susan Satyanand, have completed the first leg of their week long State Visit to India with a successful and warm visit to New Delhi.

"It has been a deep honour to have been invited by the Government of India to visit this vast and wonderful country and I have been received with great warmth during my stay in New Delhi," he said.

The Governor-General and Mrs Satyanand yesterday (11 September) completed two days of calls in New Delhi and travelled to Mumbai.  On 13 September they will travel to Hyderabad.

"This has been a very special visit.  This is the first ever visit to India by a Governor-General of New Zealand. It is also a special visit for me personally, being a person of Indian origin, with all four of my grandparents having been born in India. It is delight to have been able to return to India in this capacity as Governor-General."

The Governor-General undertook a wide range of calls whilst in New Delhi. He held discussions with HE Pratibha Patil, President of India, the Vice President, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Foreign Minister, the Minister of Overseas Indian affairs and the Leader of the Opposition.

"In all my discussions I was able to convey to the Government of India the warm wishes of the Government and people of New Zealand.  New Zealand is very conscious of Indias' emergence as a nation of global significance and I was able to register the priority we attach to our relationship with India and our desire to deepen and broaden the bilateral relationship," he said.

In his discussions with the President and members of the Government of India, the Governor-General noted that New Zealand and India had a warm and close friendship through our common bonds of democracy, respect of the rule of law, shared membership of the Commonwealth and East Asia Summit along with a mutual love of cricket and hockey.

"I was able to convey, however, that the New Zealand Government is keen to deepen these existing ties.  In my discussions it was agreed there were a number of areas where the two countries could enhance their co-operation. It was noted we were both engaged in a joint study into the feasibility of a Free Trade Agreement—and saw this as a valuable potential pathway to deepen the relationship.

"We also noted that as India looks to embark on a S'econd Green Revolution 'to enhance Indias' agricultural productivity, there could be possibilities for enhanced co-operation given New Zealands' world recognised expertise in agri-business/agri-technology whether that related to storage, transport, research and development or marketing.

"We agreed that the two countries could co-operate more closely in the area of climate change given that we both have large agricultural sectors and New Zealand has an objective to be the world leader in research relating to methane gas abatement from agriculture.

"Another area much discussed was the potential to enhance our people-to-people links through continuing to grow our tourism and education links."

During his visit to New Delhi, the Governor-General announced, in memory of Sir Edmund Hillary—a figure much loved in both New Zealand and India—the establishment by the Government of New Zealand of the S'ir Edmund Hillary Fellowships&'mdash;fellowships to promote visits from India to New Zealand of distinguished Indians.

Whilst in New Delhi, the Governor-General also gave an address to the Jawaharlal Nehru University, paid a visit to the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery where six New Zealand war dead are buried, attended a reception at the New Zealand Residence for f'riends of New Zealand

Last updated: 
Friday, 12 September 2008

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