Describing India as a “complex market” but a “very fast moving economy”, Australian trade minister Simon Birmingham has said that the government is progressively implementing the recommendations of a report to further deepen its trade and investment relations with New Delhi.
India is Australia’s eighth-largest trading partner and fifth-largest export market, with two-way goods and services trade valued at 30.3 billion Australian dollars in 2018-19.
In a recent interview to a television news channel, Birmingham said, “India is a complex market”. However, it is a “very fast moving economy” with “lots of different pieces with lots of different states”.
“And that’s why we commissioned an India Economic Strategy that has many recommendations to it, and we’re getting on and we’re progressively implementing those recommendations so that we can deepen our ties in areas like education, build new opportunities in areas such as agriculture,” he told the Sky News.
Birmingham said the government is also pursuing to strenghten its trade ties with India in the resources sector.
“Pursue — especially in the resources sector — not just the sale of critical minerals and rare earths to India but also, increasingly, mining and engineering services going into India using Australian skills and Australian knowhow as part of the business operation there with India,” he said.
The India Economic Strategy, released in 2018, is an ambitious plan to transform Australia’s economic partnership with India out to 2035. It aims at bringing India into the inner circle of Australia’s strategic partnerships and make the country the third largest destination in Asia for Australian outward investment. It aims at making India the third largest export market of Australia.
The report contains 90 recommendations for Australia to reach the 2035 targets. It also highlights 10 sectors where Australia has competitive advantages with education as a flagship sector, three lead sectors that are agribusiness, resources and tourism and six promising sectors which are energy, health, financial services, infrastructure, sport, science and innovation.
The report identifies 10 states — Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal, Punjab, the National Capital Region of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh — for expanding the opportunities.