Strengthening the important South Australia-India relationship will be the key focus during Trade and Investment Minister Nick Champion’s first mission to the country later this year.
This year marks the 76th year since diplomatic relationships between India and Australia began, with the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA) coming into effect last year – a major milestone in diplomatic and trading relations.
Minister Champion’s visit in November – the first time a South Australian Trade and Investment Minister has visited the country since 2017 – will ensure big steps are taken to deepen that relationship post-COVID and to seize on the opportunities of the AI-ECTA.
He will only be the second State Trade Minister in Australia to visit India since the AI-ECTA came into effect, with his program to include visits to the ‘Silicon Valley of India’ Bengaluru and India’s commercial capital, Mumbai.
The mission’s focus is on sectors where collaboration and an ongoing relationship between Indian and South Australian businesses can flourish in areas such as e-commerce, critical technologies in areas like IT, defence and space, international education and wine.
India is South Australia’s fifth largest goods export market and its 12th largest source of imports. In the year to July 2023, South Australian merchandise exports to India had a value of $1.1 billion.
Indian direct investment in South Australia is estimated to have totalled more than $2.9 billion and created 284 jobs here since 2003. This makes India the fourth largest source of foreign direct investment in South Australia.
India is South Australia’s largest international student market. Student enrolments from India for the first half of 2023 sit at nearly 12,000 students – up 39 per cent on the same point in time in 2022. This is above the average growth rate for Australia which saw 30 per cent growth over the same period.
To capitalise on this growth the Minister will host an international education event in Mumbai during his visit.
The Minister will also attend ProWine Mumbai where South Australian wineries will showcase their world-class products as part of the Australian pavilion. The event will provide a platform to introduce a range of South Australian wines to a growing market where wine consumption is anticipated to reach 55.5 million litres annually by 2025.
The Minister will also meet with Indian investors and some of India’s largest multinational companies to explore opportunities for the state. Following the Minister’s India trip, South Australia will host the first-ever Horasis India Meeting – which will attract Indian business leaders – in Adelaide this coming November.
The Minister’s mission builds on the Department for Trade and Investment’s focus on India since AI-ECTA came into effect. Recently, the Department for Trade and Investment partnered with Austrade to deliver an in-person session on India’s technology industry and the opportunities it presents for South Australian companies looking to export their services and offerings to India.
The Department was a platinum sponsor of the Australia-India Trade Investment 2023 Conference and provided support at the Australia India Business Exchange (AIBX) Digital Health mission.
Last month, Invest SA’s space team visited India to meet with companies in the sector to gain an understanding of the current landscape and future opportunities for investment between the two regions.