Australian envoy pitches for improving ties with India
The Dollar Business Bureau
The Australian High Commissioner Harinder Sidhu pitched for strengthening economic cooperation with India. Addressing the media after the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) meeting in Chandigarh on Monday, Harinder stressed that both countries can work together in several sectors such as dairy, scientific research, sports, agriculture and education.
India is the ninth largest trading partner and the fifth biggest export market of Australia. The bilateral trade between both the countries has touched Australian $20 billion (roughly around $15 bn) last year. Though these numbers are good, there is still scope for further growth with better economic relations.
Mentioning that the bilateral trade between Australia and China is ten times more than its trade with India, she said that the economic relationship between Australia and India should find ways to improve not only in size but also in diversity.
Australian expertise in dairy sector can benefit India in increasing milk production and decreasing wastage of food grains, particularly in Punjab. The two countries are working closely in the fields of technology, scientific research and smart cities, Sidhu said.
Citing examples of cooperation, she said that Australia and India are working together on security cooperation. Australia has concluded a civil nuclear cooperation deal previous year and it is also backing India’s proposal to enter the nuclear supplier group.
Australia has also introduced a multiple-entry visa system for Indian students from this month on a pilot basis. This three-year visa would benefit parents travelling to Australia to meet their children, with no further need of reapplying for visa each and every time they visit.
The numbers of India-born people in Australia has increased three times over the past decade. Over 46,000 Indian students have come to Australia in 2014. This number has surged to 53,000, last year and may touch 60,000 this year, she added.
Replying to a query on migration, Sidhu said that Australia has an international migration programme that encourages genuine applicants. The country is welcoming many for the past forty years through this global migration programme.