NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2009/11/26 - Another Important Step in the India Relationship – Expansion of the Trade Promotion Network. Australian Trade Minister Simon Crean today outlined a major expansion of Austrade’s network in India - Austrade.gov.au.
Mr Crean said the Government has been determined to significantly build the relationship with India.
“This is reflected in the two countries agreeing to take the bilateral relationship to the level of a strategic partnership during the Prime Minister’s visit to India earlier this month,” Mr Crean said.
“For the past two years this Government has been building and strengthening links with India and my first trip as Trade Minister featured a visit to the sub-continent.”
“Expanding economic links are a vital component in giving effect to the shared commitment to building the relationship.”
“In 2008-2009, India was our fastest growing major two-way trading partner with total trade between the two nations jumping 55 per cent to A$21.7 billion.”
“This is why I was pleased that India and Australia agreed to a FTA feasibility study, which I hope will be completed shortly,” Mr Crean said.
But there is very significant untapped potential, Mr Crean said, and the two economies have complementary strengths which the expanded Austrade network will be seeking to tap.
Five new trade offices will be launched in India and another three existing operations will be expanded.
“This is the single largest expansion of Australian trade offices in India and will bring to 11 the total number of offices,” Mr Crean said.
“This will position Australia as having the largest trade promotion network in India of any foreign country.”
“We will also appoint a New Delhi-based Trade Commissioner for Sport and a Mumbai-based Commissioner for Investment.”
The planned expansion of the Austrade offices and the appointment of the two new commissioners will cost $12.5 million over four years.
Mr Crean said the appointment of a dedicated Trade Commissioner for Sport will be an Austrade-first and will help Australian businesses compete for opportunities in the lead-up to, and beyond, the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
“India is fast emerging as a major player in the international sports arena. Besides the Indian Premier League and the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, India is preparing to host high-profile events including the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011and the 2011 Formula One in New Delhi.”
“Already some 27 Australian firms have won deals worth $45 million around the Delhi Games,” Mr Crean said.
Under the planned expansion, new Austrade offices (austrade.gov.au) will be established in Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Kochi and Pune and offices in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata will be expanded.
Other nations with a major trade promotion presence in India are Canada which has eight offices and the United States that has five offices.