Melbourne unveils draft plan to strengthen biz ties with India | business | Hindustan Times
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Melbourne unveils draft plan to strengthen biz ties with India

business Updated: Aug 24, 2011 12:32 IST

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The Australian city of Melbourne has announced a draft plan to strengthen business ties with India, with a focus on building economic prosperity, facilitating learning and supporting community, cultural and civic links between the two countries.

According to an official statement from the City of Melbourne Council, the plan was endorsed and the International Engagement Framework Draft India Statement was initiated to focus on the scope for business development activities with India.

The city of Melbourne already has a strong working relationship with India and this engagement framework will ensure it continues to grow.

"The draft statement outlines its past engagement with India and looks toward our future plans, focusing in particular on business development activities in major Indian cities," the statement said.

Currently, India is Australia's fifth largest trading partner and through this engagement, the city of Melbourne now plans to focus on three key goals - building economic prosperity, facilitating learning and supporting community, cultural and civic links between the countries.

The Chair of the Future Melbourne (Economic Development and Knowledge City) Committee, Councillor Kevin Louey, said the City of Melbourne already has a strong working relationship with India and this engagement framework will ensure it continues to grow.

"This draft statement outlines our past engagement with India and also our future plans, focusing in particular on business development activities in major Indian cities including New Delhi and Mumbai," Louey said, adding, "The city of Melbourne has had a strategic alliance with New Delhi since 2008 - the only one of its kind in Australia."

"Mumbai is also a member of our Business Partner Cities network and there are great business opportunities to be sought through this relationship," he added.

"Melbourne's Indian population is becoming much stronger. The number of new migrants to Melbourne with Indian ancestry has increased significantly in the last five years, while the number of tourists from India to Australia has grown by 14 per cent since 2007

"India is Australia's fifth largest trading partner and through this engagement, we plan to focus on three key goals - building economic prosperity, facilitating learning and supporting community, cultural and civic links.

"The framework will guide the development of a long-term and productive relationship with India. The focus for Delhi will be civic, government, educational and cultural relationships, whilst the focus for Mumbai will be business and educational partnerships," he said.

To do this, the Council will establish new partnerships and strengthen existing ones with a range of Australian and India-based partners. This will involve cooperation between the countries' governments, besides industry chambers, lobbies and educational institutes on both sides.