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Business and trade engagements remain the cornerstone of Australia India ties and have been the engine of stronger relationship since early 2000s. Bilateral trade had began gathering steam in 2003-2004 which has touched AUD 20 billion now, elevating India as the ninth largest trading partner, 6th largest export and 14thlargest import destination for Australia.
It has still not touched its full potential. Peter Varghese’s report “An India Economic Strategy to 2035” emphasises that doing business with India is challenging, but there are enormous returns in agribusiness, tourism, energy, health, financial services, infrastructure, sport and science and innovation. As policy reforms in India take effect, elevating India’s global ranking in ‘doing business with ease’ and making it the 6th fastest growing economy, ahead of France, Australian businesses can benefit from India’s success story.
The Australia-India Joint Ministerial Committee established in 1989 and Australia India Economic Policy Dialogue is diligently striving to conclude the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) to enable greater market access for both sides in goods and services, widen the merchandise trade base and remove the non-trade barriers and border restrictions and other impediments.
Currently, several leading Indian information and technology companies are operational in Australia providing jobs to locals, and Australian companies in India in the telecommunication, mining, infrastructure development, insurance and pharmaceutical sectors are hoping to increase their businesses further.
The Business and Trade initiative in cooperation with the Australia India Business Council, academic institutions and corporate groups will explore ways to promote greater understanding on business and trade so as to tap opportunities and challenges better; engage with the Queensland government and federal departments and industry stakeholders to constitute dialogues and discussions to complement their interests and objectives; initiate business discussions with the key Indian states identified in the Peter Varghese’s report, viz., Andhra Pradesh, Delhi-NCR, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamilnadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
The Institute will also establish research collaborations with Australian and Indian academic institutions and think-tanks to develop research projects on how to take the Economic Strategy to 2035 forward.