Largest-ever Australian trade mission to visit India

Melbourne: Premier of Australia’s Victoria state Ted Baillieu is all set to lead the largest-ever Australian trade mission to India in February.

More than 100 leading Victorian companies, ministers and officials would participate in the Super Trade Mission to India, the premier said Friday at the office of the Consul General of India in Melbourne.

“The size and scope of this Super Trade Mission clearly demonstrates our commitment to grow Victoria’s already strong relationship with India,” Baillieu said.

The Victorian premier, who was addressing guests at a reception to celebrate India’s 63rd Republic Day, expressed hope that there would be increased trade engagement between his state and India as a result of the trade mission.

“Victorian businesses have strong capabilities in many sectors that India needs, to support its future growth – including automotive, aviation, cleantech, education, food and beverage, ICT, life sciences, tourism and sustainable urban design,” Baillieu said earlier in a statement.

This would be the second trade mission from the state of Victoria to India in less than a year. Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher had led a group of 60 companies in April last year.

The Victorian delegation will cover “sectors of strategic importance to both Victoria and India including automotive, aviation and aerospace, cleantech, education, food and beverage, ICT, life sciences, sustainable urban design and tourism”, according to a press release from the department of business and innovation.

Indian Consul General in Melbourne Subhakanta Behera also addressed the guests at the Republic Day reception.

He expressed optimism that bilateral relations between the countries would improve as Canberra has agreed to sell uranium to India.

The Indian envoy also urged Baillieu and other Australian authorities to reintroduce Indian studies in universities to strengthen cultural ties.

The Victorian trade mission will land in New Delhi on February 21 and is scheduled to visit Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad.