Oz to broaden economic ties with India
Nksagar-Sagar Media Inc: Australian High Commissioner to India Peter N Varghese said in Kochi on Monday to reporters after inaugurating the Australian Trade Commission office “We (Australia) will seek to broaden economic relationship. Though trade relations look impressive, they are narrowly based to coal, Gold and Copper, constituting 87 per cent. We want to see a broadening of that”, he said. Kerala and the rest of India are going in for various infrastructure projects and Australian companies have very good exposure in building pipelines, food processing and Tourism, Varghese said.
The fact that Australia is the only federal government to have a trade office in Kerala reflects commitment to Indo- Australia Trade relations, he said.India and Australia have a very fast growing trade relationship. The bilateral trade relationship has grown at the rate of 25 percent a year in the past 5 years, the top diplomat said.India is Australia's third largest export market and Australia is fifth largest trading partner of India, he said.
'We are now seeing large investments from Australia in resources sector and we look forward to much more Indian investments in Australia'.Australia had recently concluded an import deal of 20 billion with energy major Petronet for supply of gas Gorgon (in Australia) from 2014.
An Australian company, Leighton, had also laid pipelines for Kochi Refinery, he said.
Education and Film industry is another area Australia was looking at India, Varghese said.
There are attractive destinations for Bollywood film and Malayalam films to be made.However, there were no plans to offer subsidy or incentives to the film industry, he said.
A feasibility study on Free Trade Agreement (FTA), conducted jointly by the two countries, has recently been concluded and was before consideration of Indian cabinet, he said.
"Australia sees India as a country which is going to play pivotal role not only in the region, but also globally. This is a relationship with 'enormous potential'. This is a reflection of both our countires want to take", he said.Australia has 11 trade commission offices in India, including in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahemedabad and Kochi.