New Delhi: Michael Fox, who is leading New Zealand's largest-ever trade delegation to India, hailed the success of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s third lunar exploration mission Chandrayaan-3.

“We arrive in India to celebrate another piece of history. In this case, India's successful mission to the moon. This is an extraordinary achievement,” said Fox, the chairperson of the India New Zealand Business Council while addressing the event on Wednesday.

He described India’s scientific victory as a testament to its ambition and ability to pursue the same.

“The scientific victory is India's and it's a testament to India's ambition, ability to execute, and it has demonstrated that to the world,” Fox added.

India took a giant leap as ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 successfully landed on the south pole of the moon on August 23, making it the first country to have achieved the historic feat and bringing to an end the disappointment over the crash landing of the Chandrayaan-2, four years ago.

Michael Fox began his address to the India New Zealand Business Council with a few childhood anecdotes about India.

Fox apart from being the Chair of India New Zealand Business Council, also holds a number of other advisory roles including sitting on the New Zealand International Business Forum and Export New Zealand Advisory Board.

“I'm going to start this very auspicious inaugural of the Indian New Zealand Business Council in India by telling you about all of the Island of New Zealand. Whenever we got a vacation, we had to write out a chapter from a local history book…, and it happened to be about my hometown's historical associate with India. Napier was named after Charles James Napier, we have a suburb called Clive after Robert Clive, two figures of the British Raj,” he said.

Fox also said, “Clearly, things have come a long way, and a lot has happened since then. In particular in more recent years. But I think what we're doing here today showing up, sharing ideas, building relationships, and finding new ways to succeed together as a new chapter in India and New Zealand's shared history. But this one, we are writing ourselves.”

David Pine, New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India was also present on the occasion and also addressed the council.

“As a Kiwi, I find it hard to describe the pride, I feel in seeing a New Zealand business delegation of this quality in India. Truly, what we've been seeing over the course of this week has been the new New Zealand engaging in a new way with the new India,” Pine said.

He said that the India-New Zealand Business Council was “meeting the expectations and the level of ambition that all of our ministers have encouraged us to strive for”.

New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India also said that the relationship between the two countries is indeed moving “smoothly and rapidly into its next phase,” and shortly the outcomes of this week's visit by New Zealand Trade and Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor will become more visible.

This is New Zealand’s largest trade delegation to India reflecting a re-prioritising of ties with India.

The delegation, comprising 50 members and senior leaders of five business organisations, comes at a time of renewed focus on New Zealand’s trade and investment relationship with India. The India New Zealand Business Council in New Zealand published a major review of the economic relationship in April and it has contributed to a great deal of discussion in trade, investment and political circles.

The Indian government has identified agriculture, agri-tech, education, fintech, forestry, horticulture and renewable energy as key priorities and New Zealand mission participants have the technologies and skills to address some of those development needs.

Indians in New Zealand are playing a key role in the delegation, which is no surprise considering that 5 per cent of New Zealand’s population is of Indian descent.