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In the vast expanse of the cosmic order, where stars twinkle and planets dance, a unique alignment has brought together two nations, New Zealand and India, at a pivotal juncture. As the stars seem to align, it is not just the celestial bodies that have converged but also the aspirations and endeavours of these countries.

The recent coincidence of NZ’s most extensive 50-member trade mission to India and India’s ground-breaking lunar landing presents an extraordinary opportunity for these two nations to transcend historical constraints and elevate their relationship to new heights. Particularly given the fact that a NZ company played a vital role in the mission’s navigation systems.

In times when diplomatic relationships are increasingly measured by their economic collaborations, NZ’s largest-ever business delegation arriving in India is a momentous occasion. While physical distances have always posed challenges, the shared goals and visions of the two nations now seem to converge in remarkable ways. The timing couldn’t be more opportune, as India’s Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission touched down on the Moon’s south pole, marking a historic feat in space exploration.

This synchrony, whether cosmically orchestrated or coincidental, holds the promise of forging a strong and mutually beneficial partnership.

The lunar landing itself is a testament to human ingenuity and innovation, yet it bears an even more profound significance for NZ and India. For the first time in history, a spacecraft has achieved the remarkable feat of landing on the lunar antipode, a scientific marvel that mirrors the extraordinary potential of the NZ-India relationship.

This cosmic alignment is further underscored by the pivotal role played by NZ’s own Rakon, a technology company whose Bengaluru facility contributed to the mission’s intricate navigation system. Such collaboration on a mission of this magnitude symbolises the strength and compatibility of the expertise that both nations bring to the table.

It is often said that great endeavours bring people closer, and this is precisely the essence of the burgeoning NZ-India relationship. The shared pursuit of technological advancements, scientific breakthroughs, and economic prosperity has the power to propel these nations into a higher orbit of cooperation.

The success of Rakon’s contribution to the Chandrayaan-3 mission exemplifies the potential for NZ companies to play a significant role in India’s technological landscape, fostering innovation and knowledge exchange.

As the business delegation from NZ embarks on its journey in India, there is a palpable sense of optimism in the air. The alignment of aspirations, like celestial bodies harmonising in the night sky, suggests that the upcoming days could yield substantial progress.

The hope of sealing substantial trade deals, fostering investments, and enhancing bilateral relations is not merely wishful thinking. Rather, it is a logical continuation of the cosmic synergy that has brought NZ and India together in an unprecedented manner.

The parallels between space exploration and diplomatic engagement are striking. Just as the lunar landing required meticulous planning, precise calculations, and unwavering determination, so too does the cultivation of strong international relations. The groundwork laid by diplomats and business leaders is akin to plotting the course of a spacecraft in uncharted territory. However, just as the Chandrayaan-3 mission reached its destination, the business mission NZ to India carries the promise of arriving at a destination where the two nations thrive in tandem.

In a world grappling with challenges that transcend borders, collaborations like these offer a beacon of hope. The NZ-India relationship has languished in the doldrums for too long, constrained by geographical distances and historical circumstances.

The convergence of the lunar landing and the trade mission serves as a reminder that the universe is vast, mysterious, and full of surprises – and that great things can be achieved when nations dare to reach for the stars.

Let’s hope the deliberations in New Delhi this week and next lead to some real big deals landing on this little antipodal nation that’s so close to our own planet’s south pole, just as Chandrayaan-3 did on our beloved satellite’s south pole.

First Appeared in the Indian Weekender on 24 August 2023