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With an aim to boost industrial and manufacturing activity and to drive economic growth, India has partnered with Australia in areas such as agrifood, mining, infrastructure, healthcare and education.

Leaders and ministers from India and Australia came together under the Australia-India Business Exchange (AIBX) 2021 Business Leaders Forum and featured Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment and senior business speakers.

Several eminent personalities like Ambassador Anil Wadhwa, Former Secretary (East) Government of India and Chairman CII Task Force, Australia Economic Strategy were also present at the Business Leaders Forum held recently.

“Both countries are committed to achieving an early harvest announcement on an interim agreement to liberalise and deepen bilateral trade in goods and services, and pave the way for an early conclusion of a full CECA (Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement),” said Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment at AIBX 2021.

On Australia's trade relations with India, he added: “There are significant growth opportunities in the India-Australia relationship in areas like critical minerals, infrastructure, energy, technology, agriculture, education and space – and it is these sectors we will place particular emphasis on in the Government’s soon-to-be-released update to Peter Varghese’s India Economic Strategy.”

The Australian government's 'Indian Economic Strategy 2035' envisions significantly raising trade and investment with India.

Both countries have witnessed renewed impetus in their relationship under the leadership of Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Scott Morrison last year. The Australian Government is making efforts to seize the opportunities through greater bilateral engagement, this includes a meeting of Prime Ministers of both the nations in the margins of the Quad Leaders Summit, visits by the Foreign and Defence Ministers to India last month which included a historic inaugural 2+2 meeting and a visit by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott to further economic ties.

On AIBX’s role in helping businesses flourish on both sides, Dan Tehan said: “Australian Government’s flagship programme is solely aimed at advancing commercial partnerships and building two-way market literacy between Australia and India. The pandemic has disrupted many aspects of our lives including how we do business, so, in the current environment, AIBX is a digital-first program that includes actionable market insights, including video and written case studies and sector reports on market and partnership strategies.”

Australia offers a wide range of investment opportunities in mining and resources, low emissions technology, food processing and agribusiness, education, advanced manufacturing, space and emerging tech.

The AIBX 2021 Business Leaders Forum brought together CEOs and business leaders from both sides to showcase strengths and strengthen partner ties. “Australia is well placed to support India’s ambition to become a major global advanced manufacturing player through our substantial reserves of critical minerals, mineral processing in Australia, and potentially offtake agreements for Australian supply of critical minerals into India which complement India's own agenda for renewables for the development of electric mobility and those sorts of downstream industries,” the Australian Minister concluded in his remarks.

The event had a welcome address by Ms Catherine Gallagher, Minister (Commercial), Australian High Commission where she talked about the role partnerships can play in mutual prosperity. The forum also witnessed participation by business leaders like Mr Alastair Symington, CEO and MD Blackmores Group.

Ms Tania Archibald, CFO, Bluescope and Indian counterparts like Mr N G Subramaniam, COO and ED, Tata Consultancy Services; Mr Arun Maheshwari, Joint Managing Director and CEO JSW Infrastructure.

The forum emphasised the investment climate in both the countries and highlighted challenges & opportunities on both sides and was conducted by in association with Australia-India Business Exchange (AIBX) 2021 .