Queensland premier in India for increase in bilateral trade

April 8th, 2008 - 3:39 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) Joining the bandwagon of Australian states seeking to benefit from India’s economic boom, Queensland’s Premier Anna Bligh is here to flaunt the state’s expertise in knowledge-based industries and promote bilateral trade. “India is Queensland’s third largest trading partner and there is significant potential for increasing trade in areas that will be beneficial to both trading partners. Queensland is already well-known in India as a reliable provider of high quality resources and food products,” Bligh said Tuesday.

India imported 15.4 million tonnes of Queensland coal, valued at Australian $1.9 billion ($1.7 billion), and $358 million worth of metal ores during the last financial year. Queensland food products exported to India were valued at $54 million during the same period.

During her first visit to Delhi and Mumbai, Bligh wants to promote Queensland’s vast export potential in areas such as education, health, clean coal technology, biotechnology, infrastructure, marine and renewable fuels.

Queensland universities currently have 5,078 Indian students. India’s Whistling Woods School of Television has a student exchange programme with Brisbane’s Griffith University.

Bligh’s 13-day trade mission has included China and Japan. She said: “Like China, the Indian market is broadening and we have a unique opportunity to take advantage of this shift.

“I will be encouraging further collaboration between India and Queensland in areas of mutual interest such as climate change research and preparations for the upcoming Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi in 2010.”

Some of the Queensland firms doing business with India include JK Tech Pty Ltd and Sedgman Ltd in mining technology and services sector and Mind Challenge Ltd, a company that specialises in the invention and marketing of thinking puzzles and games for children.

Brisbane-based Beech Ovens sells tandoori ovens to India and Callidan Instruments is another Queensland-based firm that manufactures and exports cutting-edge microwave technology. The company, which produces low-cost on-line microwave moisture analysers, made its first sale to Tata Steel and has recently set up distributors in India.

In 2006-07 the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) assisted 41 Queensland companies achieve export deals worth $296 million to India.

Indian companies with offices in Queensland include Thalanga Copper Mines, Tata International (Australia) Pty Ltd., MRF Tyres and Mahindra Tractors Australia.

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