Dominello’s India trip progresses talks with Gujarat, students


The Dominello effect in India


Following up on Premier Barry O’Farrell’s last visit to India in December 2013, minister for citizenship and communities, and minister for Aboriginal affairs Victor Dominello made a visit to India from the 6-13 February. Mr Dominello continued discussions with ministers in India’s states of Gujarat and Maharashtra on student exchange, skills development, scheduled tribes, measures to prevent human trafficking and child exploitation and youth training initiatives. Mr Dominello visited disadvantaged and remote communities in India and met with leading NGOs. Mr Dominello also visited Dharavi in Mumbai.

The minister also had a briefing with the Australian High Commissioner Patrick Suckling.

Speaking about his visit Mr Dominellos said: “I am encouraged that the Maharashtra government is planning on sending a Young Leaders Network delegation to NSW in June or July this year. It will consist of younger members of the Maharashtra parliament and will share ideas and develop global perspectives of common areas of interest with young leaders from NSW.

“Professor Brajesh Singh from the University of Western Sydney is also leading discussion to expand the YLN to include government, academics and industries representatives as part of a future bilateral agreement with Gujarat.”

NSW has a sister-state agreement with Maharashtra, which was signed during O’Farrell’s visit to India. During the Premier’s visit discussions had commenced on a similar agreement with Gujarat. These discussions are still on.

The MoU signed with Maharashtra aims to develop sectors such as agriculture, health, water management, higher and technical education, and museums. On the eve of his third trip to India Mr O’Farrell said: “I’m looking forward to returning to India to build on the strong relationship between NSW and India, which is a priority market for our State. NSW is open and ready for business with India.

“NSW and India are both pursuing ambitious infrastructure programs, with the Indian Government aiming to invest a staggering US$1 trillion into infrastructure in the five years to 2017.

“I am confident NSW has the strong infrastructure services capabilities that could support the delivery of many of these planned projects.

“My visit also reaffirms our strong friendship with India, which was highlighted last month when NSW hosted the Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Overseas Indians Day) – the first time this event has been held in Australia.

“In 2012–13, India was Australia’s largest source of permanent and skilled migrants and the Indian community is the fourth-largest migrant community in our country.

“India is NSW’s second largest source of international students, with almost 11,300 Indian student enrolments in NSW in 2012.”

During the visit Mr O’Farrell spoke to several high-level industry and investor groups focusing on opportunities in financial services, infrastructure, clean technology and tourism.

Published in The Indian Sun (Indian Magazine  in Australia)

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