Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Zealand and India get engaged

"The talks between John Key and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [in New Delhi on June 28] were supposed to be all about a free trade deal, but they took a detour to defence," Patrick Gower, of 3 News, reported on June 29.

"We now have what is being called a 'deeper relationship' with a nuclear superpower.

"It has helped New Zealand almost close a deal that could double trade by one billion dollars virtually overnight and be as big as that with China over time.

" 'The India-New Zealand relationship is poised for all round expansion,' says Mr Singh.

"John Key says that both nations see 'potential for far deeper and richer cooperation'.

"Translated, that means opening up the 10th-biggest economy in the world to Kiwi exporters is 'oh so close'.

"India has certainly been welcoming, even if the opening tune was a little offbeat.

"But New Zealand had to give something back — and this was the surprise.

"Mr Key revealed that New Zealand and India will also be working together to deepen their defence relationship.

"India is a nuclear superpower whose armed forces number one and a half million; New Zealand's number just 14,000."

The cartoon is from the Manawatu Standard of June 29, 2011.

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