BENGALURU: The three-day Bengaluru Tech Summit (BTS) 2021 opened on Wednesday with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announcing plans to set up an Australian consulate in Bengaluru and a Centre of Excellence for Critical and Emerging Technology Policy, even as the event is set to tango with its counterpart event, ‘Sydney Dialogue’, Down Under on Thursday, which PM Narendra Modi will address virtually.
“I’m pleased to let you know that Australia is seeking to establish a new Consulate General in Bengaluru. This city is the world’s fastest growing tech hub, and of course, we want to be part of it. It is home to a third of India’s unicorn companies,” Morrison said through a video address at the inaugural session of the 24th edition of BTS, inaugurated by Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson, Vision Group on Biotechnology, said that she believed having an Australian consulate was an opportunity to leverage the India-Australia partnership as “Australia is an innovative country with software and biotech opportunities. All consulates help Bengaluru because it starts increasing the interaction between two countries. The Irish consulate Science Gallery Bengaluru has come and so have many Irish companies in software.”
Kris Gopalakrishnan, Chairman, Vision Group on Information Technology, said Morrison’s announcement is another signal of Bengaluru’s global importance. He also believed there is an opportunity to work together in areas of education, research, innovation, trade, and hi-tech.
With consulate in B’luru, people needn’t visit Chennai for Oz visa
“We as well as they (Australia) have strengths, we especially have strength in people. This (consulate) will facilitate more businesses to look at Australia and investments to come from Australia to India,” Kris Gopalakrishnan said, expressing fascination for Australia’s expertise in agriculture and biotech, and believed there was scope for collaborations especially in biotech, which Karnataka was the capital of. EV Ramana Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Electronics, IT, Bt and S&T, said at present, anyone who wants to go to Australia has to go to Chennai and get visa from there.
A consulate in Bengaluru will facilitate this here. “One direct flight to any city and visa in the same place will ease the travel to the country,” he said. Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the proposed Consulate-General will focus on deepening Australia’s ties to India’s vibrant innovators, technologists and entrepreneurs.
“This (consulate) will promote engagement with India’s southern states and our outreach to Australia’s diaspora and alumni communities,” it said. The plans to set up an Australian consulate in Bengaluru ride on a range of collaborations between India and Australia, and aim to better utilise opportunities of mutual investment benefits with Karnataka.
Focus on agri too, urges venkaiah
Delivering the inaugural address at the Bengaluru Tech Summit 2021, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu stressed the need to push technology to develop the farm sector. “The summit should focus more on agriculture, which is the basic structure of the country and the globe, and is facing challenges.” he said, addressing global technology developers.