The Australia India Business Council hosted a luncheon for stakeholders and business leaders within the Australia-India space with Indian minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State ( independent charge), for Commerce & Industry & Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs on 18 July in Sydney. The luncheon coincided with Ms Sitharaman’s visit to attend the G20 trade ministers’ meetings held in Sydney following the B20 conference on 18 and 19 July.
AIBC partnered with KPMG to organise a boardroom luncheon for prominent VIP guests including the Indian High Commissioner Biren Nanda, Consul General of India Sydney, Sunjay Sudhir, and local CEOs and chairmen.
Dipen Rughani, AIBC National Chairman, in his welcome speech explained the importance of the minister’s visit in view of the new government in India.
Doug Ferguson, Partner in Charge Asia Business Group, KPMG welcomed the minister and the guests on behalf of KPMG and said KPMG was proud to be associated with AIBC in organising this important luncheon for the Minister.
Addressing the group of invitees, the minister said that there was increased interest for investments by Indian companies in Australia. The minster also mentioned that India was keen to reduce the trade deficit between the two countries.
She stated that her government is moving fast on many priority areas such as energy, infrastructure, water and food security, reducing corruption, tax challenges and red tape.
Australian businesses can look forward to easier and simpler processes for doing business in India. With increasing innovation funding for specific sectors, Australian businesses will have better access to opportunities in India.
She was keen for Australia to review non- tariff barriers. The Indian Government too was reviewing FTAs to increase their effectiveness.
The luncheon was followed by a Q&A discussion moderated by Rughani. The Q&A highlighted specific steps needed to boost Australia-India Trade and Investment ties as well as the post-election political developments that will impact India’s economic policy, especially on critical industry sectors.
Kumar Parakala, KPMG Partner Advisory, spoke of balance of trade opportunities, opportunities in infrastructure, mining & resources and related IP and technologies for Australian businesses and the Indian Government’s initiatives such as inviting institutional investments in areas of energy, water security, food security etc.
Sheba Nandkeolyar, National Vice Chair, AIBC, concluded the session with the vote of thanks.
Published in Indian diaspora magazine, Sydney