Australian High Commissioner sees immense scope for bilateral trade High Commissioner sees big scope for bilateral trade
Retailing, construction, food processing IT thrust areas Number of students going to Australia on the rise
MADURAI: The Australian Government will ask companies in that country to look at lesser-known places such as Madurai for tie-ups instead of bigger cities such as Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai, Australian High Commissioner to India John McCarthy said on Monday.
Addressing reporters after meeting members of the Confederation of Indian Industry here, Mr. McCarthy saw an immense scope for growth in bilateral trade. The Australian firms would be asked to consider Madurai, Coimbatore, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram, taking into consideration the lack of competition and availability of land and labour.
The High Commission planned to upgrade its Chennai office to give a fillip to commercial activities in south India, especially in food products distribution. An Australian construction firm was involved in the construction of a Nokia plant near Chennai. Mr. McCarthy saw retailing, construction, food processing and information technology as thrust areas for collaboration.
The number of Indian students going to Australian institutions for higher studies was on the rise. One-third of Indian students coming to Australia were from the southern States and Puducherry.
Strong in education
The High Commissioner, who earlier visited the Thiagarajar College of Engineering, hinted at having education counsellors and agriculture experts visiting Indian universities. South India was strong in education, and there was scope for increased collaboration between Indian and Australian universities, especially in science and technology. Collaborative projects would be taken up in the next six months under an Australian $25 million project over five years. India had the potential to emerge as a strong power, thanks to its demographic profile, which would remain young for some decades.
He wanted India to "loosen up" its regulations in the banking and mining sectors and be "more generous" in allowing foreign direct investment in the retail and insurance sectors. It should also reform its labour laws "to some degree." The reform process, he said, was irreversible, as India "has crossed the Rubicon," he said.