Australia to take part in Emerging Kerala 2012 Global Connect

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Trivandrum: Australia has welcomed the government’s Emerging Kerala Global Connect initiative as an opportunity to strengthen engagement with the State in a number of sectors, particularly education, agriculture, energy and waste management. A high-level Australian diplomatic delegation led by High Commissioner Peter N Varghese met Chief Minister Shri Oommen Chandy, senior ministers and officials to discuss the possibility of new trade and business partnerships.

During his meeting with Industries Minister Shri P K Kunhalikutty, Peter said Australia’s private sector has expertise and capabilities in all of the 10 focus sectors identified for showcasing at Emerging Kerala 2012, which takes place in Kochi from September 12-14. Agri-businesses and agro-based services are among the key areas identified by Australia which wants to partner Kerala in deep-sea fishing projects. He has promised to make private industries in his country aware of the connect opportunity and said the Australian government will be happy to bring trade delegations and make presentations at the event.

Kunhalikutty said the response from Australia to the Kerala government’s efforts has been very positive. “Our meeting clearly showed the great synergy of ideas we have. There is so much Kerala can offer that Australia wants, and vice versa.”

As a world leader in vocational education and training, Australia has offered to collaborate with the Kerala government in improving technical education in schools and ITIs through projects similar to the ones it has already completed in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Australia, which set up a trade office in Kochi in 2010, has also offered its expertise in the field of food processing, medical equipment and healthcare, water management and desalination, sports management, infrastructure and renewable energy. Among the mega projects that have attracted Australia’s attention are the proposed Oceanarium and LNG Terminal at Kochi.

V Somasundaran IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Industries; Alkesh Sharma IAS, Secretary (Industries-IP) and Australian Consul-General for South India, David Holly participated in the meetings.

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