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PM Modi invites Australian businesses to invest in infra, semiconductors, space

The prime minister, while addressing top Australian CEOs at a business roundtable, also talked about numerous economic reforms undertaken by the government.

PM Modi invites Australian businesses to invest in infra, semiconductors, space

Wednesday May 24, 2023 , 3 min Read

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday invited Australian businesses to take advantage of investment opportunities in India in sectors like digital infrastructure, telecom, and semiconductors.

He suggested that Australian CEOs forge partnerships with their Indian counterparts.

Addressing top Australian CEOs at a business roundtable, Modi also talked about numerous economic reforms undertaken by the government.

He "invited them to take advantage of investment opportunities offered by India in domains of infrastructure, including digital infrastructure, IT, fintech, telecom, semiconductors, space, renewable energy, including green hydrogen, education, pharma, healthcare, including medical devices manufacturing, mining, including critical minerals, textile, agriculture and food processing," official Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, Arindam Bagchi said in a tweet.

The government has taken steps like reducing the compliance burden, introducing of production-linked incentive schemes, and easing foreign direct investment norms.

On May 23, the prime minister met business leaders of top Australian companies and called for enhancing cooperation with the Indian industry in areas such as technology, skilling, and clean energy.

Modi arrived in Sydney on Monday for the third and final leg of his three-nation tour. He is visiting Australia as a guest of the Australian government.

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Modi held bilateral meetings with Hancock Prospecting Executive Chairman Gina Rinehart; Fortescue Future Industry Executive Chairman Andrew Forrest, and Australian Super CEO Paul Schroder.

During April 2000 and December 2022, India received $1.07 billion in investments from Australia, according to government data.

Both countries have already implemented an interim free trade agreement on December 29 last year. The two nations are now engaged in widening the scope of that agreement into a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

Australia was the 13th largest trading partner of India in 2022-23. While exports stood at $6.95 billion, imports from that country aggregated at $19 billion.

India is Australia's largest export market for gold and chickpeas, the second-largest market for coal and copper ores, and the third-largest market for lead and wool. Key imports from Australia include coal, copper ores, and concentrates and petroleum.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement said that the participating CEOs represented leading companies operating across a diverse range of sectors, including steel, banking, energy, mining, and IT.

Vice Chancellors from some of the leading universities of Australia also participated in the roundtable.

"The Prime Minister highlighted numerous economic reforms and initiatives launched by the government for ease of doing business and boosting economic growth," it said.

The initiatives included mission Gati Shakti for an integrated approach towards infrastructure connectivity projects; Jan Dhan-Aadhar-Mobile trinity; National Education Policy; Hydrogen Mission 2050; PLI scheme; the opening of private investment in the domain of space and geospatial sector; new policy of medical devices manufacturing; Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme.

The CEOs who participated in the roundtable include Commonwealth Bank of Australia President and CEO Matt Comyn; Rio Tinto CEO Kellie Parker; BHP President Australia Geraldine Slattery; University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and President Mark Scott; Cochlear Chair Dig Howitt; Airtrunk CEO Robin Khuda; Quintis Sandalwood CEO Richard Henfrey; and Navitas Group CEO Scott Jones.

Edited by Suman Singh