Trade mission to India a success: Barry O’Farrell

Barry distributing cricket equipment to local school children at the announcement with the Mumbai Cricket Association and Cricket NSW of the new Cricket Cup to be played between the two States every two years.

Barry at the 40K Foundation in Bangalore, a NSW charity that has established a school for the children on quarry workers. It is the first charity to benefit from the new NSW Maharashtra Cricket Cup

The Indian Down Under met Premier O’Farrell when he was leaving for India on a trade mission ”“ his first as the premier of NSW – in an exclusive meeting. He said that while the previous Labor government had only visited India twice in 15 years his government plans to make it an annual visit because he considers India to be an important trading partner. He said his job entailed to be that of a salesman for the state of NSW and mentioned, “We must work to resonate for both our countries in various sectors we deal in. I consider this trip as my most important mission being the leader of the ruling Liberal party as previously I had only been to India which was rather a low key affair   as I was in the opposition.”

Mr O’Farrell’s message was that through a delegation led by Nihal Gupta to Indian government was that ”˜NSW is open to business and is looking for greater trade opportunities.”

Premier also outlined that the recent visa changes by the commonwealth government will help bring the student number up from India which had declined in the past two years. He also said that he is going to India to promote vocational skilling through TAFE as head of TAFE David Riordon was accompanying him because the government of India had announced that it had plans of skilling Indian youth to avoid large scale unemployment.

“We want to see what opportunities are there in Indian industry partnering with TAFE NSW here to help the government of India in its ambition of vocational skilling.”

India’s current capacity for vocational skilling is only about 4 ”“ 5 million per annum against a requirement of 10 times that to meet the challenge. Premier said that that’s what the Indian government had announced and that he with Mr Riordon will explore and look into that area.

TIDU brought forth issues such as travel concessions for Indian students which the premier said that they were difficult to implement for the time being giving the reason that till the smartcard ticketing system is not brought in there will be problem with offering travel concessions to foreign students. He stressed that ”˜Indian students are always welcome and that NSW is one of the safest places to study abroad.”

Premier O’Farrell issued a report to The Indian Down Under after his trip to India:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the cultural experience of returning to India, it reminded me very much of how much we have in common.

The six day trade and investment mission began in Mumbai, the financial, business and education hub of India, much like Sydney.

Mumbai is the capital of the State of Maharashtra – which houses the headquarters of all the major banks, financial institutions and insurance companies in India.

My commitment to our relationship with this State is exemplified by my dual meetings with both the Governor and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

I had fruitful discussions on a more formal State to State relationship between NSW and the State of Maharashtra and achieved an agreement to work towards this goal after my return to NSW.

A sign of this commitment is the NSW/Maharashtra Cricket Cup, encompassing the Premier’s XI and the Chief Minister’s XI to be played every two years for charity.

In Bangalore, I visited NSW based charity the 40K Foundation led by an inspiring Australian in CEO Clary Castrission, to announce it would be the first charity to benefit from the proceeds of the Cricket Cup.

At the same venue, I was pleased to launch a scholarship program to enable university students to travel to India to work on education projects with the 40K Foundation.

UTS, the University of Wollongong, Macquarie University, UNSW and TAFE NSW have already confirmed some of their students will take part next year.

Another mission focus was joint venture partnerships. As I told the World Economic Forum ”“ India Economic Summit, the NSW Government and the NSW business sector stand ready to partner with Indian leaders and businesses.

We share and endorse India’s objective to meet its full economic potential because in addition to the opportunities and benefits it offers its nations citizens, economic growth in India is a benefit to all of us in the region.

Meetings to attract senior business representatives back to Sydney and NSW focused on this common interest.

Amongst the meetings with India’s signature companies to discuss potential resources agreements were Tata Group, the CEO of Jindal Steel and Power, Naveen Jindal, Essar and Adi Godrej, Chairman of the Godrej Group.

Through our joint ventures we aim to complement each others needs and in doing so help each other reach the goals we have set ourselves to grow our economies and in turn enrich the opportunities and futures of our citizens.

When I launched the new Australian Centre for Finance and Regulation in Mumbai I promoted Sydney as the major regional financial services hub and highlighted the stability and effectiveness of the Australian financial system.

At a reception that evening, I announced the establishment of the ”˜Australia India Youth Dialogue’ (AIYD) which will provide a formal opportunity for young people in both countries to share their perspectives on key issues and help establish stronger ties between India and Australia.

The NSW Government is proud to be a founding partner of the Dialogue which will host 15 of the best and brightest young minds of each country at an annual conference.

Also in Mumbai I announced the success of Sydney company Laservision in winning the $5.5 million contract to develop a large-scale multi-media attraction at a religious centre in south western India.

With a key member of the delegation, the Sydney Airport Corporation Limited (SACL) I opened talks with major Indian airlines to encourage direct air services and present Sydney as a stronger destination than other Australia ports.

In Delhi, the seat of Indian Government, I met Mr Anand Sharma, Minister for Commerce and Industry, to discuss the India Australia free trade agreement and closer economic relations with NSW

There were also talks with Mr Kapil Sibal, Minster for Human Resources, on how NSW can help India meet its education needs with the projected increase in the number of Indian children going to college.

Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, also met with us. Amongst my delegation were infrastructure and infrastructure finance firms with expertise in developing infrastructure in overseas markets.

I witnessed several education agreements. TAFE NSW and the University of Wollongong have each committed to establish a presence in India, through separate agreements with Indian-Australian businessman Arun Jagatramka, who is Chairman and Managing Director of Gujarat NRE Coking Coal.

In Delhi I visited the Holy Child Auxilium School in New Delhi where 90 local teachers and executive staff attended a training session conducted by NSW teachers from the Association of Independent Schools of NSW.

In 1799 our first export was to India, a shipment of coal to Calcutta. As our societies have changed so has the range of our commodities. But our message will not change under a NSW Liberals & Nationals Government, NSW is open for business.”

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