11 January 2018 PA-CN/18/01
Establishment of Australia-Tamil Nadu Economic Collaboration Working Group
The Australian Consulate-General in Chennai and the Department of Industries, on behalf of the Tamil Nadu Government, have agreed to establish an officials-level Australia-Tamil Nadu Economic Cooperation Working Group to drive bilateral economic relations to a higher level.
The proposed Working Group received strong endorsement of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Hon. E Palanisamy, during a farewell call by the Australian Consul-General, Mr Sean Kelly, on Friday, 5 January 2018.
“The Working Group provides structured mechanism through which we can jointly identify opportunities for collaboration, facilitate and expedite Australian projects in Tamil Nadu, and resolve any difficulties being experienced,” Consul-General Kelly explained. “We expect this Group to significantly increase the tempo of commercial engagements.”
The Working Group will be co-chaired by the Principal Secretary, Industries Department, and the Australian Consul-General. The Working Group will also include senior officials from Tamil Nadu Government departments relevant to the areas of cooperation under discussion, as well as representatives of relevant Australian federal departments and agencies based in India and the India representatives of Australian state governments.
India is Australia’s 9th largest economic partner, with two-way trade in goods and services approaching more than A$ 20 billion. Tamil Nadu is an important state partner - a major market for coal, copper, gold, pulses and wheat, an important source of international students, and a substantial source of tourists. A number of Australian companies have set up operations in Tamil Nadu, ranging from manufacturing to digital service providers. There are 79 active education cooperation MOUs between Australian and Tamil Nadu universities.