|Minister||The Hon Daniel Andrews MP|
|Portfolio||Premier of Victoria|
|Date of travel||15 to 20 January 2018|
|No of official travel days (including date of departure and date of return)||6|
|Accompanying ministerial staff|
Hon Marsha Thomson MP, Special Adviser to the Premier of Victoria
|Accompanied by spouse in an official capacity||No|
|Funding source||Premier's Private Office and the Department of Premier and Cabinet|
|Airfares (including taxes and fees)||$59,665|
|Accommodation (including taxes and fees)||$12,222|
|Other expenses (includes surface travel and travel allowances)||$9168|
|Travel cost for minister and staff||$81,055|
|Are the above costs final and complete?||No|
Purpose of travel
From 15 to 20 January 2018, I travelled to India to strengthen Victoria’s deep personal connections and to enhance our important trade and investment relationship.
I launched Victoria’s India Strategy in-market, spoke at India’s pre-eminent economic forum, the Raisina Dialogue, and met with senior government and business leaders to promote Victoria and drive trade and investment outcomes.
Benefits of travel to the state of Victoria
India is an important international partner for Victoria. Every day we benefit from the significant contribution that Victoria’s Indian communities make to our state. The trade and investment relationship continues to grow and support our economy. Victoria’s India Strategy: Our Shared Future acknowledges the significance of Victoria and India’s relationship and outlines the steps we are taking to strengthen it further. My visit enabled me to begin delivering the Strategy in-market and to enhance our connections with our Indian partners that are the foundation of an enduring and meaningful engagement.
My invitation to speak at India’s pre-eminent economic and security forum, the Raisina Dialogue, which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India, and the warm reception I received from senior Indian government, business and community leaders affirm Victoria’s leadership in supporting the close personal connections that we share with India.
During my visit I was able to:
- begin delivering Victoria’s India Strategy, launching it in-market and meeting with our Indian partners who will be central to the Strategy’s implementation
- strengthen and celebrate our personal connections, including by announcing that the Mahatma Gandhi exhibition will be shown at Victoria’s Immigration Museum in 2018 and that a community festival will be held outside the MCG during the 2018 Boxing Day Test
- build our knowledge and understanding of India, including by supporting the cross-cultural partnership between Bluebells School International and Rangebank Primary School
- create new ways of working together, including by announcing the Premier’s Victoria India Relationship Dialogue and Victoria’s first Business Ambassador to India
- drive closer engagement across priority sectors focussing on education, health, innovation and sport, including by leading a Victoria–India medical technology workshop in Bengaluru and by promoting Victoria as a trusted trade and investment partner at the Raisina Dialogue.
Delivering Victoria’s India Strategy: Our Shared Future
My trip was an important step in implementing Victoria’s India Strategy, which articulates Victoria’s commitment to deepen its connections with India, become a valued knowledge and business partner, and strengthen our economic and social relationship over the long term.
I supported the Strategy’s vision and targets at all of my engagements in India. For example:
- I launched the Strategy in-market to demonstrate the Victorian Government’s commitment to engaging with India and to strengthen connections with our Indian partners
- I announced the Premier’s Victoria India Relationship Dialogue to drive our engagement and progress areas of particular importance for Victoria and India
- I met with senior government, business and industry leaders to develop strong and sustained connections with individuals and organisations that Victoria will work with to deliver the Strategy’s initiatives over the next 10 years.
My engagements in India promoted Victoria as a knowledge and business partner of choice across priority sectors identified by the Strategy. The Strategy informed all aspects of my trip and will continue guiding the Victorian Government’s engagement with India over the next 10 years.
Strengthening our personal connections
Victoria is home to the largest number of people with Indian heritage in Australia.
My visit helped to strengthen and celebrate the deep cultural ties between Victoria and India. In particular:
- I visited Bluebells School International in Delhi and participated in a school lesson conducted via Skype with Bluebells’ Victorian sister school, Rangebank Primary School in Cranbourne, to strengthen engagement between young people in Victoria and India
- I announced three new educational initiatives to build Victoria’s India capabilities at primary and secondary school levels, including the Victorian Young Leaders to India pilot, the Women in School Leadership Program, and the Victorian Schools and Indian Diaspora Partnerships Program
- I announced that Victoria’s Immigration Museum will show a digital interactive exhibition celebrating the life and achievements of Mahatma Gandhi in 2018 to pay homage to and generate awareness of the special bonds that Victoria shares with India
- I announced that the Victorian Government will hold a community festival outside the MCG during the 2018 Boxing Day Test to create renewed opportunities for Victoria and India to work side by side in areas of sports technology and sport science, and to celebrate our shared passion for cricket
- I visited the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Sikh temple in Delhi and the ISKCON Hindu temple in Bengaluru to honour the rich cultures of Victoria’s thriving Hindu and Sikh communities.
Working with Indian Government partners
To strengthen our connections with Indian Government partners and to open opportunities for collaboration in priority sectors, I met with senior government ministers including:
- the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi
- the Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar
- the Minister for Commerce and Industry, Shri Suresh Prabhu
- the Minister for External Affairs, Shrimati Sushma Swaraj
- the Minister of Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal
- the Minister of State for External Affairs, General Vijay Kumar Singh
- the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri.
Driving trade and investment outcomes
India is an important trade and investment partner for Victoria. Victoria’s two-way merchandise trade with India was worth $1.78 billion in 2016–17, growing nearly 20 per cent in the last financial year. Victoria’s India Strategy will help double the value of Victoria’s trade ties with India to almost $1 billion over the next decade.
On my trip, I promoted Victoria as a trusted partner for trade, investment and cooperation in priority areas including liveability, sports technology, healthcare and medical research and technology. I also built on the necessary relationship foundations for expanding our trade ties with India. For example:
- I announced Victoria’s first Business Ambassador to India, Ms Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director of Biocon Limited, to promote Victoria’s trade and investment capabilities in India and strengthen our business connections
- I held an investment dinner with high net-worth individuals to promote Victoria as an investment destination.
Supporting health outcomes
Working together, Victoria and India can help each other continue to improve health outcomes in our communities. Many opportunities exist for further collaboration in the health sector.
During my trip I promoted Victoria’s expertise in healthcare, medical research and technology. In particular:
- I delivered a keynote address at a Victoria–India medical technology workshop at the Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology in Bengaluru to promote Victorian expertise in healthcare, medical technology and start-ups to Indian investors, partners and companies
- I announced the launch of Victorian start-up Global Patient Portals’ e-health subscription platform in India to promote Victorian capabilities in the medical technology sector
- I visited the Narayana Health Hospital in Bengaluru to open further opportunities for collaboration between Victoria and India in the healthcare and medical research sectors, and to promote Victoria’s cardiovascular care capabilities to a leading cardiovascular care provider in India.
My visit to India was an important first step in delivering Victoria’s India Strategy, and reaffirmed the significant opportunities for continued collaboration and deeper engagement with India.
- The Victorian Government will continue implementing initiatives arising from the Strategy.
- The Victorian Government Trade and Investment offices in Bengaluru and Mumbai will work with the Victorian and Indian business sector to promote Victoria, explore opportunities for trade and investment and continue to build partnerships in priority sectors.
- The Government will also implement initiatives that were announced during my trip, including opening the Gandhi exhibition at the Immigration Museum in April 2018 and running a community festival during the 2018 Boxing Day Test.
- Victorian ministers will also build on engagement with India in their portfolio areas.
- The Hon Philip Dalidakis MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, Innovation and the Digital Economy, and Small Business, travelled to Bengaluru and Chennai in March 2018 to enhance Victoria’s personal and business connections with India and to support the implementation of the Strategy. I have also requested that the Governor of Victoria travel to India in 2018.
Reviewed 28 January 2019