Strategy to boost business links with India underway: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews

MELBOURNE: Ahead of his first official visit to India, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews today said the state government is formulating a strong and effective strategy to further strengthen business links with India. 


The premier who is set to visit in January said the strategy plan will be a positive framework that will have real targets, milestones and metrics. 


The four key themes of the strategy will encompass meaningful engagement, equal exchange, personal connections and long term commitment, Andrews said at a business forum. 


The strategy will explore how the state can work with key stakeholders in seven key areas of strengthening personal connections, creating new ways of working together, building knowledge and understanding of India across government and industry. 


It will also explore ideas to invest in structures to help state government connect with India, focusing geographically and driving closer engagement across priority sectors. 


He said the government had over 180 consultations with stakeholders so far to develop the strategy. 


"We also want to invest in the pivotal drivers of economic growth," he said, adding sectors, where the two sides can partner together, are counter-terrorism, cyber security, transport industry, education, health, water management and urban planning. 


Victoria has lot to offer to India in terms of service sectors, including education, tourism, road safety management, developing smart cities, water and waste management, said Manika Jain, Consul General of India in Melbourne. 


"India is very complex and a little difficult as it has various centuries living together side by side in one city... so making that city a smart city has many folds," Jain pinpointed while stressing on areas of developing partnership in smart cities development. 


"Australia has done well in the area of water management and we can collaborate in that too," she said. 


Jain commented that there was a learning experience that India could offer to Australia which was dealing with new migrants from different parts of the world. 


Under the new strategy, the state government identified that there were opportunities for Victoria to partner on health, education and livable cities and places, infrastructure development, water management, clean technology and environmental protection. 


Other areas of growth identified were sports, creative industries, entrepreneurship and innovation and e commerce while continue supporting engagement in more established areas of agriculture, IT and tourism. 


Victoria welcomed over 1,11,000 visitors from India and is home to over 200,000 people of Indian-origin. 


India is the largest source of international students for Victoria.


Source: Economic Times