TAMIL NADU

Tamil Nadu, South Australia to ink deal on Sister State ties

ALL'S WELL: Chief Minister Jayalalithaa with the Premier of South Australia, Mike Rann (centre), and the Minister for Industry and Trade, Paul Holloway, at the Secretariat in Chennai on Thursday. — Photo: V. Ganesan

ALL'S WELL: Chief Minister Jayalalithaa with the Premier of South Australia, Mike Rann (centre), and the Minister for Industry and Trade, Paul Holloway, at the Secretariat in Chennai on Thursday. — Photo: V. Ganesan  

South Australia will centre its activities out of Chennai, says Premier Rann To work together in water conservation, automobile industry and sports

T.S. Shankar

CHENNAI: "I am in the final stage of negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding with the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister to help set up a Sister State relationship between South Australia and Tamil Nadu," the Premier of South Australia, Mike Rann, has said.

Giving details of the meeting with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, Mr. Rann explained that "the more I learn about Tamil Nadu, the more I realise the similarities in the area of water technology research, crop science, water quality, and education. This is a very dynamic region. We have a number of things in common between South Australia and Tamil Nadu, particularly in Information Technology and automobile sector.

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has assured Mr. Rann that both could work together in the areas of water conservation, automobile industry, sports and film industry, tourism, agri-business, and solar energy, an official release said.

"Film industry"

Another strong area where South Australia wishes to improve its relationship was in the film industry. "We have produced Academy award winning films. Our films have been witty, challenging, contemporary, and independent. And Tamil Nadu also has a strong film industry. Though many talk about Bollywood, I feel the centre of film industry is here in Tamil Nadu," Mr. Rann said.

The decision to open our office soon in Chennai in Tamil Nadu was that he could see complementarities especially in environmental science, and bio-technology, he said. South Australia was desperately short of skilled people, he added. "We want more technical people, IT professionals, trade people, doctors, and nurses to help sustain the booming economy.

"Yes, we are here to increase two-way business investment. We are here to encourage trade between our two States and joint ventures in film, in Information Technology, and education. I am also encouraging tourists from India to come to Adelaide, the cricket capital of Australia and to see the home of Sir Don Bradman and the birth place of Chappel brothers. So, I decided to kick off the strong business and tourism ties with a friendly cricket match by roping in the film star, former Test cricketer, business leaders, and media baron.

"I have made the decision that South Australia will centre its activities out of Chennai. We have got the film industry that has — post production — Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Batman. We are looking forward for joint collaboration in films. We soon hope to see a Tamil Nadu-South Australia movie shot in Adelaide and Tamil Nadu," he said explaining his passion for movies.

In the field of education, the Premier noted that he would like to see more Indian students come to study in Adelaide.

"So Indian students can get top rated University degrees equivalent to the U.S. Degrees from Carnegie Melon University in Information Technology, robotics, and computer science engineering."

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