Victorian Opposition Leader visits India on goodwill trip

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PREETI DAGA reports on Matthew Guy’s recent visit to India and the launch of the Australia India Business Alliance

With less than a 1000 days to go before the next State election, Victorian Opposition Leader Hon Matthew Guy recently visited India on a two week goodwill trip, along with a Louise Staley, MP for Ripon, under the management of Vasan Srinivasan, Member of the Australian Multicultural Council.

Mathew Guy.Indian Link

The trip spanned across the four metropolitan cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru and included business meetings, visits to religious temples and historical sites.

The main purpose of the trip was to ascertain if any strategic business partnerships and alliances could be established between Victoria and the Indian cities that could be economically beneficial to both countries.

The Multicultural Business Club recently organised a dinner and fundraising event on Matthew Guy’s return to Melbourne. The event was attended by Louise Staley MP,  Bruce Atkinson MLC, Peter Clarke and former Senator Helen Kroger, amongst prominent members of the Indian business community.

At the event, the Opposition Leader said, “For the relationship between the two countries to be viable from a business perspective, it has to be specific.”

Declining to sign any further MOUs, the Opposition Leader suggested the setting up of a ‘Sister-State’ structure between Victoria and an Indian State, which has similar a economic base in education, agriculture and manufacturing, is the way forward. There are already sister-state relationships between NSW and Maharashtra, and a recently announced partnership between South Australia and Rajasthan.

Matthew Guy’s proposal led to the launch of an Australia India Business Alliance which will set up a process of identifying businesses in the areas of education, agriculture, animal husbandry, medical research, healthcare delivery in India and pairing them with businesses in Australia.

He indicated that out of the four regions he visited, the most suited for setting up a structure was Karnataka.

While recounting the reception he received in every Indian city, Matthew Guy quipped, “If anyone wants a business opportunity then get into the garland industry.” He said it was overwhelming to be welcomed by garlands and dhols at each of the India cities he visited.

When asked about the highlight of his trip, the Opposition Leader remarked the scale of traffic was a sight to behold and the patience levels of the Indian people was astounding!