South Australia sets out strategy for engaging India

31/10/2012

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Premier Jay Weatherill has launched a long-term strategy to ensure South Australia becomes a significant partner with India as it transforms into the world's third largest economy.

"The strategy identifies the key sectors of the economy that will best position the State to take advantage of India's rapid development and create jobs in South Australia," Mr Weatherill said.

"This is the first strategy of its type that makes fine-grain choices about how a small state can engage with such a large country for our benefit."

The 10-year India Engagement Strategy focuses on:

  • Aerospace and defence
  • Energy and natural resources
  • Education and training
  • Clean technology.

"As the Prime Minister's Australia in the Asian Century white paper outlines, states need to more effectively engage with this emerging economic powerhouse and this strategy sets out how we will do that.

"This strategy, which focuses on South Australia's strengths, will ensure our state will be able to share the stage and benefit from a partnership with a rapidly developing economic powerhouse."

Mr Weatherill launched the South Australia - India Engagement strategy at Adelaide University's Centre for Asian Studies.

The State Government will establish a South Australia-India Council, which will include experts from business, government and the community to help guide the strategy.

The council will be supported by an India team within the Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy.

The launch of the South Australia-India Engagement Strategy comes ahead of the Premier's visit next month to India.

Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the India team would focus efforts on the industrial sectors identified in the strategy.

"Commercial possibilities will be identified and prioritised and trade and investment strategies developed to ensure South Australia can respond rapidly and flexibly," Mr Koutsantonis said.

"Our work to develop an innovative, high-value manufacturing sector is also critical to building the capabilities we'll need to respond to the emerging demands of more prosperous India.

"South Australia's leadership in research and education, water and environmental management, renewable energy and agribusiness provide the foundation for a more diverse and productive partnership.

"And, of course, South Australia's mineral and energy resources must continue to play a major role in the development of economic relations with India."

President of the Asian Studies Association of Australia Professor Purnendra Jain said the University of Adelaide can contribute to building the knowledge and expertise needed to seize opportunities in India.

"The significance of India for Australia's future is widely recognised in the community, in the schools system and by government," Professor Jain, who is also president of the Centre for Asian Studies, said.

"But we want to ensure it is also recognised by our students and we are committed to providing a greater understanding of culture and society."

Economic Development Board Chair Raymond Spencer said ongoing consultation with Indian state and local governments, businesses and chambers of commerce would ensure the state's relations with India continue to be based on present-day conditions in the country.

"The upcoming visit provides a prime opportunity to engage with Indian state and local governments and business people who can offer insight to help strengthen our economic partnership," Mr Spencer said.

For a copy of the South Australia-India Engagement Strategy visit www.dmitre.sa.gov.au/india