Close to 600 participants attended a series of seminars across Australia in September to learn more about business opportunities in India and a new strategy to strengthen the India-Australia economic relationship.
The joint Austrade-Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade seminar series focused on the newly released India Economic Strategy to 2035 – Navigating from Potential to Delivery.
India is poised to become a top three global economy by 2030. The India Economic Strategy is an ambitious plan to transform Australia’s longstanding economic partnership with the country, to lift India into our top three export markets and make it a key ally in Asia.
‘There is no market over the next 20 years which offers more growth opportunities for Australian business than India,’ says Leonie Muldoon, Austrade’s New Delhi-based Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for South Asia.
‘India has population growth and demographics on its side, an expanding consumer class, rapid urbanisation, and growing entrepreneurial approach – all key drivers of growth.’
India is the sixth largest global economy and the fastest-growing major economy in the world, with a GDP of US$2.84 trillion increasing at around 7.3% annually.
By 2025, one-fifth of the world’s working age population will be Indian. By 2030, India will have over 850 million internet users, according to the report.
Against this backdrop, there are significant opportunities for Australian industry. The India Economic Strategy identifies 10 sectors in which Australia has competitive advantages, and focuses on 10 Indian states in which the combination of economic heft, commitment to reform and sector relevance can boost Australian export opportunities.
The sectors include:
- agribusiness – technology, products and services; agri-commodities; premium food and beverages
- rail, smart urban infrastructure, transport infrastructure, water and environment
- mining, oil and gas – mining equipment, technology and services
- advanced manufacturing – aerospace, defence and future transport
- healthcare, life sciences and biotech
- ICT, fintech, cyber security and disruptive technologies
- higher education, vocational education, corporate training and e-commerce.
‘These are all sectors in which Austrade is committed to delivering quality trade services for Australian businesses,’ says Muldoon.
‘A growing Indian economy will need more of the merchandise and services that Australia is well placed to provide, from education to resources and energy; from food to healthcare; from tourist destinations to expertise in water and environmental management.
‘Services are likely to be the fastest-growing segment of Australia’s economic relationship with India.’
The seminars, held in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth in September 2018, attracted a cross-section of Australian businesses.
With the support of state governments and peak industry associations, Harinder Sidhu, Australian High Commissioner to India, and Muldoon delivered comprehensive briefings on India today. They emphasised the importance of a country-specific strategy, niche geographical targeting, awareness of business and cultural differences, and cultivating personal relationships.
Alongside the seminars, boardroom briefings for CEOs and industry roundtables on education, food and beverage and METS were organised in partnership with Deloitte, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Study Queensland, Study Perth, Austmine, Export Council of Australia, Go8 Australia, Minerals Council of Australia, Universities Australia, Study Gold Coast, Study Adelaide, Study Melbourne and Pulse Australia