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PM announces Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship

PM announces Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship

Prime Minister John Key announced today that Indian businessman and Member of Parliament Vijay Mallya will be the next recipient of the Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship.

Mr Key made the announcement in Mumbai while on a four day state visit to India.

The Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship is a tribute to the special contribution made by Sir Edmund Hillary to New Zealand's bilateral relationships with India and Nepal.

Vijay Mallya follows Rahul Gandhi who was the recipient of the inaugural Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship in 2010.

Mr Key says, "Vijay Mallya is an outstanding businessman with a great affection for New Zealand. He is a worthy recipient of the Fellowship and will be a great asset in strengthening the longstanding and friendly ties between the two countries."

Vijay Mallya is Chairman of United Breweries Group, a multinational conglomerate encompassing 60 companies, and head of Kingfisher Airlines. He is also an Independent MP in the Upper House.

Vijay Mallya owns the Bangalore IPL cricket team that Daniel Vettori played for this year, and owns the Formula One team "Force India'.

"I will be delighted to welcome Vijay Mallya to New Zealand as the Prime Minister's Fellow," says Mr Key.

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