New Delhi [India], January 25: Western Australia’s Deputy Premier, Treasurer, and Minister for Transport and Tourism, Rita Saffioti, has successfully concluded a delegation-led mission in Delhi followed by Chennai, scheduled on January 25. Meetings were held with key aviation stakeholders, senior Government, and business representatives to strengthen relations between Western Australia and India focusing on key sectors such as trade, tourism, and aviation. Promoting tourism to Western Australia was the priority talking point for the Deputy Premier during her trade mission in Delhi. India is currently Western Australia’s 10th largest trading partner.
The Delhi mission was significant, as Minister Rita Saffioti engaged in a series of important meetings and events including discussions with key airlines, exploring opportunities for collaboration and enhanced connectivity in the aviation sector. She also met with the Chairman of TATA, India’s largest conglomerate, to explore potential collaborations. The Invest and Trade WA Business Luncheon held at the Australian High Commission and meeting with the High Commissioner emphasized the commitment to bilateral economic and social growth through promoting tourism to Western Australia and during the luncheon, businesses like Perdaman Group advocated the importance of this.
Western Australia is abundant in critical minerals and offers the potential as a major producer of renewable energy to support India’s clean energy transition and sustainable development (electric vehicles). Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) has created new opportunities for Australian goods and services exporters with the reduction of tariffs allowing for Western Australia wine brands to be introduced to the market as well as opening the door for avocado and rock lobster shipments.
Also, State Significant Projects such as Project Ceres have created opportunities to grow the supply chain between the regions by awarding a contract for Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers Pty Ltd to L&T Energy Hydrocarbon. The Mt Celia Project located on the border of the East Pilbara and Paterson Provinces of Western Australia held by Legacy Iron (a subsidiary of the National Mineral Development Corporation) is the first gold mine in its portfolio. Her visit to India was also to highlight the growing opportunities for collaboration and mutual benefit in the mining, primary industries, aviation, and innovation sectors.
Reflecting on the engagements in Delhi, Minister Saffioti remarked, “The bilateral meetings with airlines were productive, opening avenues to further promote tourism to Western Australia. Our discussions with the Chairman of TATA and High Commissioner and key industry stakeholders were insightful. These meetings lay the groundwork for future cooperation, a promise for substantial collaboration opportunities and emphasizing the potential for economic and social growth between Western Australia and India.”
India is a key market for Western Australia with the country being its 10th largest trading partner with USD 4.1 billion of goods traded in 2022-23 and an important inbound tourism market. In the year ending September 2023, India ranked as WA’s 7th largest international market, with 27,000 visitors contributing an estimated USD 91 million to the state’s economy. The mission capitalized on this momentum, further boosting Indian tourism and trade to Western Australia.
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