Keen on two-way student exchange programme

The Australian Government is keen on increasing foreign investment in its country and is prioritising ‘economic diplomacy’, according to Stuart Campbell, Deputy Consul-General to South India, Australian Consulate General.

Australia is also interested in a two-way student exchange programme and hopes its ‘New Colombo Plan’ that enables Australian students study in Asian universities would lead to Australian students studying and working in India, he said.

Speaking at the inaugural session of ‘TiEcon Coimbatore 2014’ recently, he said the new Australian Government, under Prime Minister Tony Abbott, wants to make it easier to do business in his country for both foreign and domestic companies. Campbell said Australia was also keen on concluding a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with countries like India and was focussing on giving a boost to two-way investment. Indian investment in Australia stands at around $10 billion and this is expected to grow much more in the next five years. There is significant investment by Indian companies in the (natural) resources sector and several IT majors are present in Australia, apart from Indian banks, educational institutions, hospitality and construction companies.

Campbell said the economic relations between the two countries was steadily growing with the bilateral trade doubling in the last seven years, and the levels of investment, specifically Indian investment in Australia, have become a ‘genuinely strategic element to our relationship’. South India was firmly on his Government’s radar and ‘Tamil Nadu is a priority State for us’. He said the State’s economic diversity, energy agenda and innovation infrastructure made it a ‘fertile ground for greater engagement’.

K Ganesh, Serial Entrepreneur and Chairman-Portea Medical, said India offers immense marketing opportunities in diverse sectors.

R Anusha, President TiE, Coimbatore, was of the view that TiEcon, hosted for the first time in Coimbatore, offered the professionals a great networking opportunity. J Jayanthra, Conference Chair, TiE, Coimbatore, also addressed the session.

(This article was published on March 17, 2014)
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