Australia keen to partner India in energy and resources sector

Shobha Roy Kolkata | Updated on February 27, 2020

Tim Beresford, Deputy CEO, Global Client Services, Australian Trade and Investment Commission   -  Debasish Bhaduri

Certainty, continuity in policy framework essential to attract investors, says Deputy CEO of Australian trade promotion body

The METS (Mining Equipment, Technology and Services) sector from Australia is keen to partner with Indian companies in the energy and resources sector but wants “certainty and continuity in policy framework”.

According to Tim Beresford, Deputy CEO, Global Client Services, Australian Trade and Investment Commission, as many as 40 METS companies from Australia are working in India and another 13 are looking at opportunities to collaborate and support Indian industry as it grows its resources and energy interests. The collaboration could be by way of joint venture, partnership arrangements, minority shareholder stakes or contractual relationship.

“There are no doubts that India is a rich country with rich geological resources. It is important that the right governance, policy and regulatory oversight are put in place to allow (bring in) certainty and I emphasise on the word certainty for investors to be able to make good judgments as to whether or not to be involved in the resources sector,” Beresford told BusinessLine.

Certainty or continuity in policy framework would be key to bringing in more investments, he added.

Beresford was in the city for the Australia India Business Exchange 2020. As many as 130 delegates from across different sectors, including resources and energy, international education, agriculture, food and infrastructure, are visiting India as part of the Business Exchange.

Driving efficiency

The METS sector is the backbone for Australia’s resources industry as it helps drive performance, effectiveness, better operations, better governance, better regulations and oversight. The sector plays a pivotal role in driving the supply chain of the resources sector in Australia.

“The purpose of the visit is to understand what is going on in business in India, particularly around resources and energy and how Australia can help India as it goes on this very aggressive growth path,” he said.

Measuring reserves

The Australian Institute of Metals and Mining and the Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to put in place an internationally recognised way of measuring reserves in India.

According to Beresford, when reserves are measured in a structured and rigorous way with serious integrity, the country will get more investments because it would help the investors understand the principles of why such reserves are proven or possible.

With the agreement in place, it would take about a year to put the finer details and the framework in place.

Such joint understanding or joint agreements bring lot more certainty to the sector and “when you bring certainty to a sector you actually bring investment interests,” he said.

It is also an important way of improving governance and oversight to drive higher degree of certainty and therefore better possibility of additional investment — both domestic and international.

Published on February 27, 2020

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