Australia to invest Rs 1,500 crore as part of economic strategy to boost ties with India
To implement the plan, Australia is investing over Rs 1,500 crore towards new programmes and initiatives across technology, space, critical minerals, strategic research and people-to-people links
NEW DELHI: The recently introduced Update to Australia’s India Economic Strategy is a five-year plan for the Australian government to help achieve its long-term economic ambitions in India.
To implement the plan, Australia is investing over $280 million (Rs 1,500 crore) – towards new programmes and initiatives across technology, space, critical minerals, strategic research and people-to-people links to boost cooperation with India.
"It is a clear signal of our strong ongoing commitment to the relationship and draws on consultations with over 600 business and community stakeholders across Australia and India and sets a basis for new investment," said Australia’s High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell during the update’s launch.
"This is the largest ever single boost to bilateral ties by an Australian government,’’ High Commissioner Farrell added.
India is Australia’s seventh largest trading partner. The bilateral trade was valued at Aus $24.3 billion in 2020. Over the five years leading up to the pandemic, bilateral trade and investment between the two nations doubled.
Australia hopes to lift India into its top three export markets by 2035 and make India the third largest destination in Asia for outward Autralian investment.
"India and Australia share common values, complementary economies and strong people to people links that make us ideal trade partners," Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan said.
The original India Economic Strategy, released in 2018, stated that no country would offer more growth opportunities to Australian business than India. While this hasn’t changed, the pandemic changed the world considerably.
"This Update responds to those changes – recognising the evolving challenges and opportunities for both countries, taking into account the transformed global environment, including the lessons learnt during the pandemic, India’s economic reform agenda and India and Australia’s joint progress under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership," High Commissioner Farrell said.
Meanwhile, the new initiatives contained within the Update include expansion of Australia’s diplomatic presence across India, establishment of a joint Australia-India Centre of Excellence for critical and emerging technology policy, cooperation in space programmes, front-row access for Indian investment in Australian lithium and cobalt and securing clean energy supply chains across the Indo-Pacific.
As a part of the Update, the Australian government will provide additional investment. This includes $16.6 million to strengthen linkages with India’s key policy and finance institutions and $8.9 million to support enhanced business engagement and an increased Australian presence in India.