The Indo-Australian Chamber of Commerce celebrated 25 years of trade relations with India. Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Australia signalled smooth bilateral relations with India.
“The silver jubilee of the chamber comes in the background of an extra ordinary momentum in Indo Australian relations. The reciprocal visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the success of Australia Business Week in India held in January 2015 have added positive momentum to the relationship,” said G R K Reddy, President, Indo-Australian Chamber of Commerce.
C Sarat Chandran, Director of the Chamber, gave an overview of the chamber’s work. “Trade between the two nations has shifted from commodities to services which accounts to about 70 per cent,” he said.
There are now 2100 Australian companies doing business in India and a majority of them are small & medium enterprises. Indo-Australian trade is now decisively evolving into a new architecture. The weakest link in India’s exports to Australia is merchandise. The chamber has been doing research on what constitutes the failure of Indian exports to make an impact in Australia. Performances of 45 Indian companies that export to Australia have been investigated. A major reason for the rejects was packaging!
Minister Bishop said that the Australian government has concluded trade agreements with China, Japan and South Korea.
“About 63,000 Indian students enroll for Masters and various other degree programmes in Australian universities. In similar way, the Australian government is providing internship opportunities, which involves visiting India for Australian under-graduate students in Australia.
The internship opportunity is part of a new Colombo Plan,” Bishop explained. She also said that the energy needs in India are quite high and Australia is ready to assist India.