“Dosti” (friendship) –Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Foreign Affairs, has defined a new success mantra for the Australia-India relationship at the recent AIBC Australia India International Business Summit 2022
“Our relationship is built on many things, but fundamentally, it is built on shared interests. And it is why we think of our relationship as one of dosti – our friendship. So together, there is just so much that our two nations can achieve, and your work is central to that. Our partnership extends well beyond the bilateral because we share a region and whichever region that is being reshaped. Our relationship is profoundly important. It is profoundly important that countries with shared interests work together” she said while delivering the Australia India Address hosted by the Australia India Business Council on 24 August at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney.
This year’s Annual Address marked the special celebrations of 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence on 15 August 2022, and was also an integral part of the three-day AIBC Australia India International Business Summit held in Sydney 23-25 August 2022.
The Summit showcased, “New India – highlighting new bilateral business opportunities across several key sectors” with the participation of leaders from both the Australian and the Indian Governments, corporate leaders, AIBC members, the India-Indigenous business connect, AIBC business partners and a business themed cultural event.
Welcoming Senator Wong, and other eminent guests including ,Mr Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister of Australia, Mr Jim Varghese AM, Immediate Past AIBC National Chair said “AIBC applauds the Australian Indian diaspora celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Indian Independence Day. There are no boundaries to the India Australia relationship. India is the right partner for Australia and Australian businesses must look to India as a market to supply rather than a market for consumption. The partnership between Australia and India will generate trade in many sectors. To effectively support the trade momentum generated by the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) between the two countries, AIBC has established a dedicated Australia India Business Enterprise (AIBE) to support and facilitate end to end B2B commercial transactions and Industry Chairs. AIBC will hold the Australia India International Business Summit as an annual business event”.
HE Manpreet Vohra, High Commissioner of India in Australia, speaking at the event said, “India has emerged as the fastest economy in the world. As we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Indian Independence, India-Australia relations have strengthened during the last decade and upgraded to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. This is an acknowledgement of our convergent views on geo-strategic and geo-economic issues particularly in the Indo Pacific region. The ECTA is a watershed moment and opens large opportunities for businesses in both countries. It is time that Australian businesses appreciate New India. Even during the pandemic the Foreign Direct Investment in India by many countries has grown tremendously. It is time the business leaders to understand this potential India offers. I congratulate Australia India Business Council for the very well organised Australia India International Business Summit in this regard”.
A large contingent of business leaders, from both Australia and India and dignitaries, Members of Parliament across the political spectrum, senior Government of India officials attended and participated in this first ever AIBC Australia India International Business Summit. Many government and partner organisations including Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, High Commission of India Canberra, Consulate General of India, Sydney, Investment NSW, Invest India, Austrade, Kerala Startup Mission, Confederation of Indian Industry, Business Council of Australia, Business NSW, Export Council of Australia, NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce, Australia India Travel & Tourism Council participated in the Summit deliberations, business showcases and B2B sessions held during the three days.
The business-outcome focused sessions, spread over three days of the Australia India International Business Summit (AIIBS 2022), showcased the “New India – new bilateral business to business opportunities across several key industry sectors”. These sessions were highly engaging with the participation of leaders from the Australian and the Indian Governments, Corporate leaders, AIBC member organisations, First Nations Businesses, AIBC business partners and Startups founders. Apart from Education & future of learning sector, several other industries including Defence, Aerospace, Cyber Security, Financial Services & Fintech, Tourism & Hospitality were showcased. The program also included a strong focus on advanced manufacturing, smart/sustainable infrastructure, sustainable renewable energy, circular economy, and waste to energy solutions with large participation by several businesses across Australia and India both in person and digitally. There were several Business outcomes including business launches, solution showcases and MOUs facilitated during the summit.
The Annual Address had an impactful panel discussion hosted by Jodi McKay, with senior representatives from business and government, highlighted the need to create ongoing business to business connections, India opportunities, literacy initiatives and business cases studies and success stories to build continued momentum on the Australia India bilateral engagement.
Irfan Malik, AIBC NSW State Chapter and Chair of AIIBS 2022 said, “For the first time in the history of Australia India trade programs, the AIBC Business Summit had a strong focus on Australia – India bilateral opportunities for the Indigenous and First Nations Businesses to leverage and accelerate engagement with the Indian market. This summit is also expected to spark-off unprecedented levels of cross industry engagement bringing industry bodies, university research centres, government agencies, Startup ecosystems and business groups looking to collaborate on market validation and scaling up opportunities”.
Sheba Nandkeolyar, AIBC Women in Business Chair and co-organiser of the Business Summit said, “The AIIBS 2022 Business Summit has created a huge momentum to accelerate business to business outcomes and will be a key enabler for Australia India bilateral trade and engagement”.
Deepak Bagla – CEO and Managing Director of Invest India said “I congratulate AIBC for organising such a wonderful business summit. Our journey has just begun. There are huge opportunities for Australian businesses in India. We can work together in many sectors such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, Airports and aviation services, Electric Vehicles, Renewable Energy, Hydrogen, logistics, biotech and Defence”.
AIBC also launched three new initiatives, AIBC Digital, AIBC Young Business Leaders Chapter and the AIBC First Nation & Indigenous Chapter at this Business Summit.
Announcing another important milestone in the bilateral relations at this Summit, Senator Penny Wong said, “My colleague, the Education Minister, Jason Clare, and his (Indian) counterpart have discussed how Australian universities can help India deliver its plan to see the extraordinary objective of 50% of young Indians enrolled in higher education by 2035. It is an extraordinary achievement. And I believe we can work together to do so'”.