Swaroopa Unni, a University of Otago PhD student,
demonstrates Indian dances linked to Indian cinema during a
Dunedin conference yesterday. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Dunedin firms should pursue growing trade opportunities
with India, University of Otago's Vijay Devadas says.
Dr Devadas is head of the university department of media,
film and communication, and is co-convener of a two-day
conference this week, which is celebrating a century of
The conference, titled ''Century of Indian Cinema:
Aesthetics, Economics and Politics'', is being held at the
Otago Museum and has been organised by the recently
established New Zealand India Research Institute and the
Dr Devadas, who is an associate director of the institute,
noted New Zealand's growing trade links with China, which
this year became our leading export market.
New Zealand and India were also already pursuing closer ties,
through continuing talks to reach a free trade agreement, he
And India, like China, was becoming a ''global superpower''
in trade terms, with a growing middle class, and rising
disposable incomes. Opportunities for more trade, tourism and
cultural links should not be overlooked.
Indian tourism to New Zealand was already growing, and he
believed some even small to middle-sized Dunedin businesses
should start thinking about developing their own ''India
plan'' to develop links with India.
India had a vibrant and successful cinema industry. A couple
of Indian films had already been at least partly shot in
Dunedin and he believed there were growing opportunities for
collaborative work with Bollywood.
Many of the opportunities for Dunedin and Otago lay in
creative industries, including film animation, as well as in
information technology and intellectual property, including
land and agricultural management, instead of simply seeking
to export goods, he said.
Conference co-convener Dr Sita Venkateswar, of Massey
University, said there was also strong potential to develop
closer links between Dunedin's fashion industry and the
Indian fashion world.