A 35-strong trade delegation has returned to Australia after promoting agricultural capabilities at Australia Business Week in India.
The delegation met with Indian government and industry representatives to promote Australian exports and strengthen trade relationships.
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, said the trip to Chennai and New Delhi has built networks with importers, retailers and government representatives.
Mr Hartsuyker, who led the delegation with Trade and Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo, expects the trip to result in a greater expansion in trade and more two-way investment opportunities.
“While trade between Australia and India is already strong there is significant potential for it to increase further – to the mutual benefit of farmers and producers in Australia and farmers, producers and consumers in India,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“Australia Business Week in India (ABWI), is about giving the industries that drive our respective economies the opportunity to build stronger connections, to exchange information about needs and wants and to cement commercial arrangements.”
Strong wheat sales in recent years
India was Australia’s fifth-largest agricultural export market in 2016-17, with exports valued at $3.1 billion, up 475.5 per cent since 2011-12.
India is a significant market for Australian chickpeas ($1.1b), wheat ($743.3m), raw cotton ($389.0m), wool ($224.3m), and lentils ($200m).
The value of Australian wheat exports have enjoyed strong growth in recent years with over $395 million exported in the first quarter in 2017.
India has an estimated GDP growth rate of 7.7 per cent for 2018, compared to the average of 1.7 per cent for G7 economies. It boasts one of the world’s fastest growing economies, forecast to become the third-largest by 2030.
During the visit Mr Hartsuyker worked closely with some of India’s largest horticulture importers, high-end retailers and hospitality entrepreneurs as well as experts on food security, agricultural production and consumer demand.
He also met with the Indian Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh, and the Indian Minister for Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Opportunities for Australian horticulture exports
“They provided a critical insight into the opportunities a stronger relationship with India affords Australian agriculture.”
In Chennai Mr Hartsuyker focused on promoting the export of Australia’s pulses and grain and wholesale opportunities for Australian horticulture exports.
“We have a growing two-way trade in many agricultural commodities and products and this trip was about increasing that.”
Indian and Australian industry leaders also held talks in New Delhi aimed at working together to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of logistics and food value chains.
The ABWI visit identified and promoted opportunities for Australian agricultural products and services across wholesale, traditional retail and e-retail, and processing sectors.
Mr Hartsuyker said high level discussions in Mumbai were cancelled due to tragic flooding across the region.
The ABWI was held from August 28 to September 1 in various centres across India.
For more information: austrade.gov.au/Events/australia-business-week-india-2017.