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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 30.04.2016

H.E.Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae,the Governor General of New Zealand hosted a banquet in honour of President Pranab Mukherjee in Auckland today (April 30, 2016).

Speaking on the occasion the President said the Governments and the people of India and New Zealand have, over the years, developed a close and fruitful relationship of friendship and co-operation. The two countries share a unique bond of trust and mutual understanding - based on our shared values and synergies. Though they may be separated by geographical distances, their co-operation has, in recent years, become increasingly multifaceted, dynamic and rewarding.

The President said ingenuity and innovation are qualities for which New Zealand is well known.New Zealand has made tremendous progress in dairy development, food processing, communications and information technology, clean energy and water, disaster management, biotechnology, healthcare and services. India looks forward to new partnerships with New Zealand in areas of common interest. India invites investors and entrepreneurs from New Zealand to join Indian counterparts in the "Make in Indiaā€¯ initiative of our Government.

The President said the two nations share an extraordinary convergence of values and aspirations and have demonstrated a remarkable degree of independence of spirit in defending and upholding democratic values that are vitally important to the comity of nations. Both our countries are active participants in regional and international fora and have worked together in close cooperation on matters of shared interest and concern. New Zealand is home to more than 170,000 people of Indian origin. Our people to people contacts are growing. Indian students are increasingly opting for higher studies in New Zealand and there are enhanced tourist flows in both directions. The most famous New Zealander known to Indians remains Sir Edmund Hillary. Both countries have a broad convergence of interests on regional and global issues. India deeply appreciates New Zealand's support for India as a member of a reformed and expanded UN Security Council.

This release issued at 1700 hrs.