Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who’s visiting India till April 19, today announced a two-year $1.58 million partnership between NSW and India to enhance the State’s startup, technology and advanced manufacturing sectors.
Berejiklian made the announcement in Mumbai at accelerator Zone Startups and said it will allow NSW entrepreneurs and technology businesses access to new markets, talent and knowledge. The funds will be used to send NSW young entrepreneurs and startups to India to learn from the country’s best and brightest, to support commercial connections between startups in NSW and India and on fostering collaboration on advanced technology projects.
“This important partnership will allow us to learn from India’s best and brightest so that we can create the smart jobs of the future. NSW is Australia’s startup and technology capital and this partnership will ensure our industries grow alongside one of the world’s most dynamic technology markets,” Berejiklian said. “Our state is home to 44 per cent of the nation’s startup founders and 40 per cent of the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) industry.
“This important partnership will allow us to learn from India’s best and brightest so that we can create the smart jobs of the future. This partnership will provide NSW businesses with incredible access to some of the best entrepreneurs and technology experts in the world and I look forward to seeing the results over the next two years,” she added.
This is the first visit by a NSW Premier after former Mike Baird’s successful visit in 2015. Back then, Premier Baird had promised increased engagement with India, but other than the appointment of his predecessor Barry O’Farrell as NSW’s Special Trade Envoy to India, there has been limited interaction at the senior-most levels between the two parties.
Berejiklian is keen to change, saying that though this visit was only to two centres, she will try to manage more states in future visits. At a media briefing on 9 April, she had said, “We are looking forward to strengthening the economic ties between NSW and India.”
“NSW is Australia’s premier state in terms of jobs and growth and as such, a perfect place for Indian companies to do business.”
Western Sydney was mentioned a number of times by the Premier, who is keen to attract investments by Indian companies in that area so that there are greater employment opportunities.
The Australian and NSW Governments are investing $3.6 billion over 10 years in the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan (WSIP), with the Australian Government providing $2.9 billion. The WSIP will provide better road linkages within the Western Sydney region and benefit the region’s growing population. With a large part of the Indian Australian community living in this region, it seems a natural home for Indian companies keen to engage with Australia.
NSW is Australia’s premier state in terms of jobs and growth and as such, a perfect place for Indian companies to do business. She did, however, confirm that she will not be meeting anyone from the Adani group – that is a matter for Queensland, she said. Berejiklian will also miss out on an opportunity to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he is expected to be overseas at the time of her visit.
The Taj Mahal, maybe? No. This is a taxpayer-funded visit, the Premier pointed out, and there’s no way she can justify a visit to the Taj. “Unless of course, there is an opportunity to meet PM Modi there in some way,” she added with a smile.