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Why the relationship between India and New South Wales is one to watch

Investment NSW

With a bilateral trade agreement, there are now vast opportunities for collaboration between Asia’s fast-growing powerhouse and Australia’s most dynamic state, New South Wales.

On the cricket pitch they may be rivals but, away from the crease, the rapport between India and Australia has never been stronger. Between 2007 and 2020, two-way trade in goods and services grew in value from USD$9 billion to USD$17 billion.

And with the interim Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA) signed in April, both countries are now working to implement the agreement under their treaty making processes. This agreement will remove or reduce tariffs on many exports, on entry into force, and in the years ahead.

Alert to new opportunities on the horizon, forward-thinking business leaders in both countries are investing in the alliance as they seek to establish footholds in each other’s fast-growing markets.

Caption: Two-way trade in goods and services between Australia and India has almost doubled, from US$9 billion in 2007 to more than US$17 billion in 2020. 

Why New South Wales?

New South Wales (NSW) has a lot going for it. The state’s economy is larger than those of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand or Hong Kong. And its capital, Sydney, is Australia’s international city. 

Being located at the centre of the dynamic Indo-Pacific, NSW is a gateway to the world, with strong ties to ASEAN, East Asia, USA, UK and the rest of Europe.

With 11 public universities in the world’s top 200, the state is also Australia’s top destination for international students, including tens of thousands from India.

Its diverse climatic zones range from pristine beaches to alpine regions and agricultural zones that sustain the production of many high-quality food and beverage products.

Caption: NSW is home to 40% of Australia’s higher education providers, including 11 public universities, two of them in the QS global Top 50.

Leading research and development capability and a highly educated workforce have made NSW a tech hub, with more than 60% of Australian fintechs choosing Sydney as their base.

It’s hoped that the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement will increase bilateral trade significantly, while two-way mobility provisions for students and skilled service providers will support business growth in both countries.

“We already strongly invest in Australian people and products,” said Vikram Singh, Country Head Australia and New Zealand for India’s Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

“This helps us drive the competitiveness of enterprises across Australia including NSW, where TCS has its head office.”

Our commitment to India

The NSW Government is investing heavily in the relationship, having just opened an Investment NSW office in Mumbai run by Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner Vishwesh Padmanabhan. Along with his team, he is charged with expanding business and people-to-people links between India and NSW.

“We help demonstrate the cultural nuances around doing business in a new location, as well as the challenges and opportunities,” said Padmanabhan.

“And for business sectors that are governed by extensive regulations, such as mining and education, we arrange discussions with the regulatory authorities in a bid to streamline and speed up approval processes.”

ICT and life sciences

One of our major attractions is our knowledge economy, built on a network of world-class universities, and developing entrepreneurial precincts such as Tech CentralExternal Link and AerotropolisExternal Link. These economic centres are set to drive innovation in a number of sectors, from agriculture to advanced manufacturing.

Caption: NSW is one of Australia’s largest and most diverse economies, making up more than 30% of the nation's GDP.

There is huge potential to benefit from this extensive R&D by working alongside the many ecosystem partners that make up Sydney’s thriving fintech, insurtech and medtech sectors. With India’s domestic healthcare sector projected to reach AU$520 billion by 2023, there is also enormous potential to improve health outcomes in India by partnering with NSW in traditional areas of strength such as clinical trials, viral vector manufacturing and advanced therapeutics.

Clean technology

With the Indian and NSW governments both committed to a rapid transition to becoming low-carbon economies, there are huge opportunities for cleantech companies from both countries to expand into new markets, as well as great scope for collaboration and knowledge sharing.

“There are several NSW cleantech companies already exploring opportunities to enter the Indian market, which will help bring down India’s energy costs, increase efficiency and combat climate change,” said Padmanabhan.

Investment NSW can help facilitate this by streamlining planning applications and connecting business with local experts.

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