A heightened focus on infrastruture projects in India has created perfect conditions for Australian businesses looking to expand their international network.
BDO Executive Director of International Business Cameron MacMillan said Australia’s construction and engineering sectors should look to India as a key export market as new opportunities emerge, particularly in roads, railways, ports and airports.
“The election of new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, combined with positive economic growth, has contributed to enhancing international business confidence,” Mr MacMillan said.
“Prime Minister Modi is known for his pro-business sentiment and willingness to further open the gates to international trade.”
Mr MacMillan said while the Indian government had put a renewed focus on infrastructure projects, there were specific opportunities for Australian exporters in the rail sector — partciularly in network and capacity expansion on both passenger and freight lines.
“Even more specifically, Australian experitse is soughtafter in certain areas, like heavy haulage,” Mr MacMillan said.
“As the demand for Australian skills and materials continues to grow in India, our capability in areas like modernisation, training, and skills development to support new expansions will be highly desirable.
"When it comes to trade, China often rates highest on the radar — as do free trade partners like Korea and Japan — however India should also be front of mind for a lot of exporters of products and skills.”
With a free trade agreement with India on the table, Mr MacMillan said it would be beneficial to begin forming relationships now.
“Those thinking of going down that path need to be prepared, as India can still require some complex navigation and in some cases the rule of law is still very grey,” he said.
“I can’t emphasise enough the importance of getting to know a local partner or investigating the types of assistance that may be available to you from Australia.
“There are also a number of business negotiation practices and cultural considerations to take on board before engaging with the Indian market.”
*BDO offers a wide range of business and corporate advisory services to large corporate organisations, government & public sector entities, private businesses, entrepreneurs, and individual clients across a wide range of industry sectors.