Around 60 South Australian business and industry representatives will head to India in August, as part of a major outbound mission building on links forged at the India – South Australia Business Forum during the recent Cricket World Cup.
The trade mission will encourage investment and open market access to firms in defence, aerospace and advanced manufacturing, resources and energy, agribusiness, water and environmental management, tourism, education and sport and health.
Releasing an updated review of the South Australia-India Engagement Strategy at a business forum today, Minister for Investment and Trade Martin Hamilton-Smith said South Australia remained committed to building trade and cultural links with India.
“The Review will build on the recent success of the India – South Australia Business Forum held to coincide with the India – Pakistan World Cup match in February and our state’s strong representation at Australia Business Week in India in January.
Goods exports to India topped $739 million for the 12 months to February.
The Review comes two years after the release of the South Australia-India Engagement Strategy.
Mr Hamilton-Smith said the release of a dedicated South Australia-India Engagement Strategy in 2012 was a crucial first step in establishing a genuine partnership between our state and a key economic ‘engine room’ in our region.
“Since the strategy’s launch, considerable work has been undertaken to implement the priorities outlined,” Mr Hamilton-Smith told a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) forum in Adelaide.
“In August we will take 60 South Australian representatives to India as part of our major outbound mission to encourage investment and open market access.
“South Australia has enjoyed strong representation in India with four ministerial delegations in the last 12 months highlighted by Premier Weatherill’s Dream Team 15 initiative (for young Indian cricketers) which attracted national media attention across India.
“India’s economy will continue to grow at a staggering rate over the coming decade. South Australia is well placed to play a role in that story by offering our skills, services and products for mutual benefit.
“There have also been a range of developments such as a new government in India and the anticipated signing of an Australia-India Free Trade Agreement this year. Both can be expected to provide new opportunities to both of our economies.”
Mr Hamilton-Smith said there would now be a formal process to review, evaluate and update the approach, both to reflect the capabilities and requirements of government, business and the community.
“The Government is eager to hear from the business community about areas where we can better target our strategy,” he said.
“I look forward to the feedback arising from this discussion paper, and the conversations it will create in our business community. I also look forward to growing our relationship with India based on an understanding of our respective competencies and needs, and fostered by strong cultural respect and appreciation.”
The existing South Australia-India Engagement Strategy identifies common ground between India and South Australia, including:
- shared legal, political, cultural, linguistic and sporting ties that stem from common British historical links
- strong democratic institutions; and
- an existing economic relationship, particularly through trade of resources and the attraction of Indian students to the state.