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Rajasthan is announced as South Australia’s sister state
On 20 November this year, South Australia signed a historic sister-state agreement with the government of India’s Rajasthan state.
The agreement was signed by SA’s Minister for Investment and Trade Martin Hamilton-Smith and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
This follows a steady strengthening of ties between the two states. In August this year, a trade mission, involving over 40 South Australian businesses, travelled to the north-western state of India in a state government led mission. (Delegates included Sydac, SAGE Automation, NN Occupational Health, AAMC Training India, Private Limited, the South Australian Cricket Association and Rubicon Water.)
Premier Jay Weatherill and Deputy Premier John Rau have had successful visits as well.
The new development will help establish partnerships and collaborations in Rajasthan that will mutually benefit both regions, Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“This agreement will create new opportunities for exporters, it will encourage new ideas and relationships, which will lead to investment and job creation,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
Mr Hamilton-Smith said the State Government will work with the State of Rajasthan to share knowledge, exchange ideas and to produce economic prosperity.
SA’s expertise in sustainable water management will be particularly helpful to the desert state of Rajasthan.
“Our collaboration on sustainable water management will facilitate investment in South Australian water research, policy and technical capabilities in a number of areas, such as groundwater research, water quality, aquifer recharge and education training and capacity building,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said. “Over two-thirds of Rajasthan is identified as desert yet it is a major producer of agricultural crops. This makes water conservation and management and environmental sustainability key priorities for the current and future prosperity of the region.”
This partnership also spans investment, trade and business activities as well as education, sport, culture, the arts and sciences to maximise and capture opportunities presented by the growing Indian economy.
These are outlined in the South Australia-India Engagement Strategy, designed to strengthen the state’s ties with India and build a long-term partnership.
The South Australia-India Advisory Council is responsible for the governance, oversight and refinement of the South Australia-India Engagement Strategy.
Its members include Brian Hayes QC as Chair, Raymond Spencer (Chair Economic Development Board), Christine Bierbaum (Executive Director State Development, DPC), Andrew Downs (Group Managing Director, Sage Automation), Associate Professor Adrian Vicary (President, AIBC, South Australia, and Adjunct Associate Professor, Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences, University of South Australia), Nigel Relph (Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President: International and Advancement, University of South Australia), and Rajini Vasan (CEO, Blind Sporting Council).
NSW is the only other state in Australia that has a sister-state agreement with an Indian state, Maharashtra. This agreement was signed in 2012.
The links between Rajasthan and South Australia actually go back to 1838, when the boat called The Rajasthan arrived in Adelaide on 16 November, 1838 with 254 passengers.
The three-mast ship, built in Bombay in 1837, ferried settlers and pioneers to South Australia under a scheme for Free Passage between the years 1836 and 1841, in an effort to populate the new colony.
More than 175 years later, the descendants of these very travellers, are seeking to forge deeper ties with the people of Rajasthan.