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States » East

New Perspectives of Trade and Investment Between India and Australia

Kolkata, Jul 17 (UNI) Mr Andrew Ford, Consul General of Australia in Kolkata today emphasised that Australia considers India to be the top country for deepening and strengthening its International partnership.
He addressed members at a Special Session on ‘New Perspectives of Trade and Investment between India and Australia’ at Bharat Chamber of Commerce.
This was the first time the Consul General addressed any Chamber in Kolkata since the opening of the Consulate in the city a few months back and his assuming the post shortly.
In his address, Mr Andrew Ford, emphasised that Australia considers India to be the top country for deepening and strengthening it's International Partnership and West Bengal is one of the ten priority states with which it wants to forge an ‘economic link’.
The Consul General further stated that Australia has considered India as one of its most trusted partners in trade and investment and has subsequently developed a long term strategy in this regard. “India is expected to grow at a rate of 6 to 8 per cent for the next 20 years driven by high consumption and savings.
In this regard we intend to expand our investments in India rather than limiting to mere bi-lateral trade”, H.E. Mr Ford stated.
Speaking on the perspectives of doing business with Australia, Mr Ford stated that Australia is the second wealthiest country in the world after Switzerland and is placed high in the global ranking of ‘ease of doing business’.
He further stated that India too needs to prepare an Australia Strategy and for this Central Ministers are being approached in Delhi.
Speaking on doing business in India, H.E. Mr Ford informed that 10 states and 10 sectors have been so far identified and targeted by Australia, West Bengal being one of them.
“Our focus lies on flagship sectors like Education, Tourism, Healthcare, Financial Services and Mining. West Bengal in this regard will is a State we eagerly look forward to in terms of bilateral trade and investments”, he added.
The most ambitious goal of the Strategy is to have Australian investment in India rise to over $A100 billion. Current investment levels in India are valued at $A15 billion (requires a 7 fold increase). The target is ambitious but achievable - Australia has the world’s 6th largest pool of investment funds under management (US$2.1 trillion), Mr Ford added.
Earlier in his Welcome Address, Mr Sitaram Sharma, president of the Chamber highlighted the potential of fostering collaboration and innovation in the mining industry.
Mr Sharma also observed that there is great scope for collaboration between the two countries in agriculture and food processing, especially in precision farming, post-harvest solutions, logistics, seed treatment and soil health.
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