Australia Looks to Maximize Economic Ties with India

Australia Looks to Maximize Economic Ties with India

Australia’s government has responded to an India-focused economic strategy report with positivity and plans to support its recommendations.

The Australian government has responded to an India-focused economic strategy report with positivity, and intends to support it 20 priority recommendations.

The report, titled “An India Economic Strategy to 2035: Navigating from Potential to Delivery,” was released in July, and was commissioned by the Australian government. It explores methods by which the country can maximize its economic engagement with India.

“This report provides a roadmap for our economic future with India,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement. “India is the world’s fastest growing major economy and offers more opportunity for Australian business over the next 20 years than any other single market.”

While the report details 90 specific recommendations, 10 have been highlighted for “immediate implementation,” with an additional 10 set aside that are seen making the biggest difference.

For the time being, Australia’s government has agreed on an initial implementation plan for the first 12 months.

This includes a memorandum of understanding between Austrade and Invest India to promote bilateral investment, the establishment of an Australia-India food partnership and the expansion of the Australia-India Mining Partnership at the Indian School of Mines.

Honing in on the position of mining in the report and on Australia’s economic relationship with India was Tania Constable, CEO of the Minerals Council of Australia.

“Australia-India trade was worth $27.4 billion in 2017. Australia’s minerals sector has had a big role to play in this trade relationship, which has grown from Australia’s ninth largest to fifth largest trading partner in 5 years,” said Constable.

“In 2017, Australia’s minerals exports were worth more than 71 percent or $11.2 billion of our $15.7 billion in merchandise exports to India,” she added.

According to Constable, coal exports — primarily metallurgical — were worth $9.2 billion, showing growth of 38 percent in 12 months and an 11-percent annual growth trend over the last five years. Other major mineral exports include gold and copper at $689 million and $688 million, respectively.

She also explained that India is expected to add “the equivalent of the European Union’s current power generation capacity” to meet demand to 2040, as 300 million people in the country are still not connected to the electricity grid.

“Australia is therefore well placed to help meet India’s energy demands, including the supply of coal to India’s new high energy, low emission power plants which will help India in meeting its Paris Agreement targets,” Constable said.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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