MELBOURNE: Australia's Victoria state today announced a plan to double exports to India in the next decade and expand its footprint in the education market ahead of Premier Daniel Andrews' first official visit to the country from tomorrow.
The premier unveiled 'Victoria’s India Strategy: Our Shared Future' which targets trade, education, business engagements and tourism as major areas to strengthen links with India.
The strategy, an ambitious blueprint, aims at growing exports to India, attracting more international students and boost tourism.
Under the plan, Victoria, Australia's most densely populated state, aims to double the value of goods exports including food and manufacturing items to India from an annual average of 500 million Aus dollar to USD 1 billion Aus dollar.
"We have a plan and we are getting it done,” Andrews said.
"Our tourism, international education, sports and cultural and innovation offerings are the envy of the world.
We want India to experience for themselves the best of everything Victoria produces," he said.
"We have worked closely with leaders and industry experts from the Australian Indian community on ways we can make our stateÂ’s bond with India even stronger.” The premier said he wants to increase the number of Indian postgraduate research students by a quarter by 2027.
"This blueprint is all about expanding our footprint in one of the world's leading economies, which will boost Victorian businesses and create jobs for locals," Andrews was quoted as saying by the SBSNEWS.
"Our biggest export is in fact the international education market. This is a huge part of our economic story and I think we can be confident, in fact buoyant, about what the future holds," he said.
The premier will leave for India tomorrow and return on Saturday after meeting with government officials and attending a forum in New Delhi and Bangalore.
He is also likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The paper has identified the area for growth in goods exports to India from an annual average of 500 million dollar over past five years to 959 million dollar in 2027.
In education sector, the paper identified growth in Indian post graduate research students by 25 per cent over 10 years and to double the number of business engagements from 150 in 2017 to 300 per annum in 10 years.
It further noted a growth in overnight expenditure by Indian visitors to Victoria from 367 million dollar in last financial year to 885 million dollar in 2027.
Over 209,000 of Victorians have Indian ancestry including 169,802 Victorians born in India.