Indian market means so much to us: Denise Eaton Trade & Investment Commissioner for Austrade in South Asia

Hyderabad, May 24, 2024….FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) organised a session “Global Alliances: Strengthening Economic Bridges” featuring Jennifer Larson United States Consular General in Hyderabad; Gareth Owen British Deputy High Commissioner Telangana and AP and Denise Eaton Trade & Investment Commissioner for Austrade in South Asia in the city at the Park on Thursday.

Today’s session will serve as a gateway to global trade for our members, said Priya Gazdar, Chairperson of FLO while welcoming the gathering. We are now living in a global village. Trade between nations has become much simpler than in the past. International trade allows companies in general and our members in particular to expand their markets and access goods and services.

No country has so much robust relationship as much as India and the US have. The trade has grown nearly ten times since 2001, to about 200 billion USD in 2023. The strength of our relationship is our people-to-people connections, strong democracy and shared values. It may not be the right time for a bilateral trade agreement or something like a Free Trade Agreement. She ruled out that happening in immediate future because elections in India which followed by elections in the USA.

Jennifer Larson was confident that the bilateral trade between both nations India and the US might touch 500 billion US $ in the next 5 years.

Denise said the trade delegation led by Australian Premiere Anthony Albanese last year to India was very significant. It demonstrates our mutually beneficial relationship and the bond. Modi and Albanese met thrice in the year 2023 itself speaks volumes. Indian market means so much to us. You are the largest market, she added.

Gareth said the educational and cultural exchanges between countries contribute to strengthening our trade relations. Our cultural and people-to-people relations are very strong. The UK is an educational destination for many Indian students. We have 1.3 lakh Indian students studying in our country

Jennifer said the inner Indian studying in the US is increasing year on year. 40 per cent of Indian students in America are Telugu. Telugu is the fastest-growing language in the USA

Speaking on capacity-building to further two-way economic ties between countries, Denise said India and Australia are natural partners. Critical minerals are something we are strong about and India is fast developing battery manufacturing market. I see a mutual benefit in that area.

India is our 12th largest trade partner and we hope to strengthen that relationship to take to the 10th position said Gareth.

A lot of US companies have a presence in Hyderabad. And their last count is anywhere around 200. And I keep going inaugurating them every week. A lot of them have set up their shops on their own accord. It is wonderful to see this and their number is likely go up said Jennifer.

We look forward to Pharma, IT, Defence Manufacturing, Multi brand retail etc for increased cooperation added Jennifer. A US investor has a billion US $ exposure in India and they are likely to triple their exposure, Jennifer shared.

Gareth agreed that access to funds for women, entrepreneurs is always challenging.

Speaking about MSMEs, Jennifer said 80% of new companies set up in the private sector in the US are MSMEs

Denise said they signed an Economic Trade Agreement with India in 2022. It made a lot of difference. Our trade with India increased by 35% last year.

Each of the speakers gave a list of 3 priority sectors for stronger trade relationship. Gareth saw Defence, Education, AI, Technology, Semi-Conductors and ML, Jennifer looked at education as a top priority area as it is worth 9 bn annually contributed to the American economy by Indian students. Green Technology, Solar Panels, Yoga and Ayurveda have emerging markets in the USA. Gareth said saw potential  in education, EVs and Clean Energy.