Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], September 1 : In a step forward in strengthening the economic relationship, Deputy Premier of Western Australia Roger Cook met Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu and other key Andhra Pradesh Ministers here on Thursday.
This visit was facilitated by the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board, a single point of contact for trade, investments and partnerships in the state.
During the meeting, Chief Minister Naidu and Deputy Premier Cook announced the formalisation of a number of partnerships in the areas of education, mining, geology, road safety and professional development cooperation.
The two leaders agreed to finalise, as soon as possible, arrangements for collaboration between the two state governments under the Sister State Agreement involving:
- The WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety supplying technical assistance to the AP Department of Mines and Geology to support geological mapping necessary for attracting investment into the mining sector;
- A professional staff development exchange between the AP Economic Development Board and the WA Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.
They also agreed on the importance of finalizing an agreement between Curtin University and partners in Andhra Pradesh to establish a world-class Mining Institute in the state.
During their meeting, the two leaders witnessed the signing of an articulation agreement between Acharya Nagarjuna University and Curtin University, under which students can receive advanced standing (credit) for studies at Acharya Nagarjuna University on beginning a new course at Curtin University.
Speaking on the same to , Deputy Premier Cook said, "Today, in our meeting with the Chief Minister (Chandrababu Naidu), we talked about the important role of the relationship between the two communities/states; in particular what we talked about is the agreement that we made between the Curtin University and Acharya Nagarjuna University, in relation to new courses around engineer. What this will do is provide great opportunities for engineering students in India and in particular, undertake coursework, which will be recognized by Curtin University in Western Australia and provide them with an opportunity to study in Western Australia as well."
The two leaders also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Andhra Pradesh Department of Roads and Transport and Western Australian company KSI Global, under which its unique roller safety barriers will be trialled on a notorious 'black spot' on the road to Tirupati temple.
Talking about another focus point, healthcare, Roger Cook said, "As Minister of Health in Western Australia, I am particularly interested to see how our economies can work together to develop medical devices and technology, with which we can work together to improve the health of the people in our two states."
"One of the things we are very impressed with is the way, in AP, they are supporting companies to develop their medical devices, manufacture them in the state and provide them to the community at an affordable price. We have a round of companies that are developing devices in the digital space and as a result of that, we are very much looking forward to engaging with AP to make sure that we can see AP as an opportunity to base our manufacturing," he added.
The two leaders also looked forward to the signing of a MoU between Acharya N. G. Ranga Agricultural University and the University of Western Australia for research and teaching collaborations in the field of drylands agriculture once approvals from the centre were finalised.
Further speaking about the meeting, Peter Baldwin, the regional director (India) in the Government of Western Australia's trade office, told , "Western Australia is one of the leading states in the world for minerals and geological survey. We have developed a massive number of skills and technologies. Our governance of geological sector and mining sector is renowned worldwide. We are really happy, as part of our sister state relationship, to share this knowledge, expertise with Andhra Pradesh to help it become more of a powerhouse in India."
"Western Australia has always placed Andhra Pradesh at the forefront of its international partnerships and we hope to raise this partnership in the fields as diverse as economy, public policy, trade, investment education, technology, innovation and culture," said J.Krishna Kishore, Chief Executive Officer, Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board.
Andhra Pradesh and Western Australia signed a Sister State Agreement in December 2016, and since then both parties have been working to establish public and private sector partnerships in a variety of fields, reads a media statement by Government of Western Australia.
Western Australia's total trade with India was valued at 2.14 billion dollars in 2016-17, with gold and copper products among the top exports. Western Australian companies are already active in Andhra Pradesh, with NSL Consolidated operating and expanding a low-grade iron ore mining and beneficiation operation, and Geomysore Services (India) soon to commence gold mining operations, both in Kurnool District.
On that note, Deputy Premier Cook is in India on one-week trip that started from August 29, as part of the Federal Government's Australia Business Week in India (ABWI) initiative promoting Australian capabilities and investment opportunities.