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Updated: June 11, 2013 13:33 IST

‘Visakhapatnam has a great future with good connectivity’

Santosh Patnaik
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Australian Consul-General for South India David Holly. Photo: M Periasamy
The Hindu Australian Consul-General for South India David Holly. Photo: M Periasamy

We are looking at a relationship beyond cricket, says Australian Consul-General for South India David Holly

Australian Consul-General for South India David Holly feels that Visakhapatnam is a city with considerable future and good connectivity, and vouched for exploring bilateral ties beyond cricket.

On his maiden visit to the city, Mr. Holly, in a chat with The Hindu, said on Monday that he had been hearing about the growth potential of the ‘City of Destiny’ for the past three years. “We are looking at opportunities in sustainable fishing, refineries, oil exploration in KG basin, higher education, mining, infrastructure and logistics,” he said.

‘City no stranger to us’

He said Visakhapatnam was no stranger to Australia with significant quantities of Australian coking coal – a key input into almost 50 per cent of Indian steel production – arriving at Visakhapatnam Port. He said Australian companies were upgrading facilities at the Visakhapatnam Port and looking at exporting LNG for the proposed terminal at Gangavaram Port by Petronet LNG Limited.

Mr. Holly said the Australian Consulate General office based at Chennai was interested in facilitating collaborative opportunities in healthcare, maritime studies and management. Australian institutes would hold road shows later this year to showcase their expertise.

Oozing confidence about strengthening bilateral ties, he said two-way trade was now estimated at $20 billion, almost double the volume of trade registered in 2005.

No attacks since 2010

Investment from India to Australia was nearly $10 billion last year mainly focused in resources and IT services – almost half of which came from Andhra Pradesh. The projected trade between the countries is $40 billion in the next five years. On the spate of attacks on Indian students in Australia, he said after a quick response from the government authorities, not a single case of attack had been reported since 2010.

He said as per 2011 census, there were over 430,000 Australians of Indian origin in Australia. It has doubled since 2006. The number is now estimated at half a million as Indians were the largest sources of skilled migrants to Australia.

The Consul-General said that in the first nine months of 2012-13, Indians accounted for 3.3 per cent of visitor visa grants making India the ninth largest source country of visitor visa grants. Visas granted registered a year-on-year increase of 12.2 per cent.

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