As India fulfils its long-held dream of becoming an economic super-power, New Zealand is again being left on the sidelines. First Australia and now the UK have beaten it to the punch in securing free trade deals with India, a country in Asia with which New Zealanders have always felt an affinity — and not just in cricket
As The Economist reported earlier this month, a vast national market is being created there and empires are being built on new technologies.
India is forecast to be the world’s fastest -growing economy in 2022. For India to grow at 7% or 8% for years to come would be “momentous”.
The Economist cited four pillars that will support growth in the next decade: the forging of a single national market, an expansion of industry owing to the renewable energy shift and a move in supply chains away from China, continued pre-eminence in IT, and a high-tech safety net for the hundreds of millions left behind by all this. Continue reading “Another challenge for Damien O’Connor: NZ has fallen behind Aussies and the Brits in striking free trade deals with India”
Not many New Zealanders may have noticed what is happening in China or India – but their economies appear to be tracking in opposite directions. Those movements could have a powerful impact in turn on NZ’s economic fortunes.
Point of Order is indebted to two remarkable pieces of journalism for insights that give context to these issues. One report appeared in the Guardian Weekly, the other in The Economist.
The first, by Larry Elliott, was headed “Stifled dragon: No-one should take delight in Beijing’s economic woes” and argues a full-blown economic crash would be as damaging to the world as the US sub-prime mortgage crisis was.
The report in The Economist focused on India’s economy which, it said, is likely to be the world’s fastest-growing big economy this year. The details prompted The Economist to editorialise that the Indian economy is being rewired.
“The opportunity is immense— and so are the stakes”.
The question for NZ exporters, who have become dangerously dependent on the Chinese market is whether they should now be exploring prospects on the Indian sub-continent.
Larry Elliott wrote that China has been central to the story of globalisation over the past 30 years, but now it is struggling.
More than two years after Covid19 cases were discovered in Wuhan, the world’s most populous country has yet to get on top of the virus. Continue reading “Why exporters should consider decoupling from China and focus more on opportunities provided by India’s growth”
The government has declared its intention to make hate speech a Crimes Act offence and to increase the penalties for inciting hatred or discrimination.
It has announced a public consultation on proposed changes to the Human Rights Act 1993
“… to strengthen protections against speech that incites hatred and discrimination; and seeking New Zealanders’ views about how they would make New Zealand more socially cohesive”.
Writer George Orwell would have relished the language applied by Beehive spin doctors to describing the objective. The government is launching a “social cohesion programme to address incitement of hatred and discrimination”.
We imagine this is not intended to discourage or eliminate discrimination of the sort that bestows favours or privileges when the government promotes an “us” and “them” society through the increasing development of Crown-Maori partnerships.
Treating Maori and non-Maori separately is reflected in a raft of policies, as evidenced (for example) in the latest announcement on the Infrastructure Acceleration Fund.
Final decisions had yet to be made on how the full Housing Acceleration Fund would be used, Housing Minister Megan Woods said this week, but $350 million has been ring-fenced for a Māori Infrastructure Fund.
So where is a fund that has been ring-fenced for other ethnicities?
The government and its supporters will insist this is “positive” discrimination which makes it an acceptable arrangement – a necessary one, even – under the Treaty of Waitangi, although it seems to be at odds with today’s announcement of a significant programme of work to create a safer, more inclusive society. Continue reading “Hate speech law proposals aim to create a safe and inclusive society – but discrimination is unlikely to be discouraged if it is positive”
Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt is championing the rights of New Zealand citizens and residents who are being inconvenienced by the Government’s decision to suspend travel from India for two weeks.
The Government needs to be more transparent about the decision, which took effect yesterday and will remain until April 28, he huffs.
Other experts and commentators seem to have found enough evidence to be satisfied – perhaps with reservations – about the legality of the travel constraint.
Newshub recalled Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying the move had been made due to the large number of Covid-19 cases coming into New Zealand from India.
The country is currently battling a massive resurgence of the virus, with about 116,000 new cases announced on April 6 alone.
The numbers have surged since then. Continue reading “Indian flight ban passes muster with many lawyers but human rights chief wants more information”