Australia needs to embrace India, says Kovind
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Australia needs to embrace India, says Kovind

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Sydney, Nov 22 : Australia needs to embrace India as a "big country and big friend" and invest in its transport and infrastructure projects and forge greater collaboration in areas such as fintech, logistics, industrial design, biotechnology and financial markets, says President Ram Nath Kovind.

"Australian super funds have a reputation for careful, calibrated investment decisions. They will find the Indian infrastructure space worth their while with long-term investment, steady to high returns, confidence in growing consumption and security in contracts," President Kovind said.

Addressing the India Business Summit here on Thursday, he said Australia needs to embrace India as a "big country and big friend" if it wants to access one of the world's largest consumer markets.

"There is enormous room for us to work together," Kovind said at the summit organised by The Australian Financial Review.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he wanted to see India among Australia's top three investment destinations within 20 years with a focus on education, agriculture, resources and tourism.

"Education is presently our biggest area of partnership with outstanding opportunities to take it further. We're already working to reposition Australia's education brand to appeal more broadly to Indian students," he said.

He noted coal was Australia's single largest export to India worth more than $9 billion in 2017. "I think that's a good thing," he said.

Morrison also released a blueprint to transform Australia's economic engagement with India. “India is the world’s fastest growing major economy and offers more opportunity for Australian business over the next 20 years than any other single market,” he said.

“This report provides a roadmap for our economic future with India.” Morrison said his government endorsed the report and in-principle supported its 20 priority recommendations.

The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Austrade and Invest India to promote bilateral investment flows.

A statement by the prime minister's office said Australian ministers across education, agribusiness, resources and tourism will oversee progress of the government’s response and ongoing implementation of the India Economic Strategy.

“Our work will focus on greater economic engagement targeting ten Indian states and ten key sectors, while providing practical support for Australian businesses entering or expanding operations in India,” added Trade Minister Simon Birmingham. (UNI)

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