NEW DELHI: An Excerpt from ‘The Gist‘, with Ambassador Anil Wadhwa, Former Secretary (East), MEA, Author of the Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) Australia Economic Strategy Report in conversation with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi.
Watch the complete conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YJVE6ZgQ7M
AW: That’s a very, very important area of agreement. In fact, Australia has just announced AUS$280 million worth in different segments of investments into the Indian economy of which 35 or $36 million have been earmarked for a green steel partnership, for instance, a critical minerals research partnership, and also a contribution to the International Energy Agency to support cooperation, research, production and commercialisation of clean technologies, critical minerals and energy. And of course, if we look at the joint statement between India and Australia, which has been issued after this summit, you see that both countries are very keen that there has to be some amount of investments from India into the Australian critical mineral sector. So the MOU on co-investments in Australian critical minerals, projects between Khanij Bidesh India Ltd. (KABIL), and Critical Minerals Facilitation Office (CMFO), Australia, is extremely important from that point of view.
APR: There is also reciprocity for pension fund investments in India.
AW: It’s about tax benefits, because investments made by Australia’s sovereign and pension funds in India would now receive the same tax benefits as in Australia. Obviously, when these funds invest in the Australian economy, Australian organisations, the state and federal government encourage them to invest within Australia. It makes it much more attractive for them not to go out in uncertain situations. But, if they’re offered the same kind of tax benefits, then that makes it that much easier, because of the higher returns, which the Indian market offers, especially by way of investments in infrastructure. This is the reason why for the past two to three years, India has been trying quite hard to attract these funds, the pension funds from Australia into the Indian economy. To a large extent, they have succeeded as well. But much more is needed, given the fact that the Indian infrastructure needs are huge. And in the coming years, you know, Australian investment into Indian infrastructure can play a very big role in the development of the Indian economy.