Bengaluru Tech Summit, Karnataka

  • Transcript, E&OE
Subjects: Australia-India Centre of Excellence, Australia’s benefits to India, Australia and India working together.

Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs:

Namaste. I'm very pleased to be here in Bengaluru as the representative of the new Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, leading a delegation of over 40 Australian technology companies and policy thinkers to BTS in its 25th Silver Jubilee year. I would like to extend my thanks to Shri Narendra Modi, the Honourable Prime Minister of India for his virtual address. Shri Basavaraj Bommai, the Honourable Chief Minister of Karnataka. The Government of Karnataka under the leadership of Dr Ashwath Narayan have been gracious in their hospitality and excellent hosting of the Bengaluru Tech Summit. I would like to acknowledge all of the dignitaries present here today, indeed, everyone in the room today who makes BTS what it is. It's great to be back here in person. 

Australia has been a long-time supporter of the BTS and we recognise its importance as a forum for bringing together the international technology ecosystem in this dynamic city of Bengaluru. The Australian Government is deeply committed to advancing our technology partnership with India in the context of our broad-based comprehensive strategic partnership. 

When it comes to critical technology, no partner matters more to Australia than India, and that is why we are committed to opening our new joint Australia-India Centre of Excellence For Critical and Emerging Technology Policy right here in Bengaluru. Indian and Australian expert collaboration will develop potentially globally applicable policy approaches that values and drives innovation by encouraging the responsible development of critical technologies. We will also open a new consulate-general in Bengaluru in 2023, our fifth diplomatic office in India, to support connections and growth opportunities for this dynamic part of South India. I understand that the new direct flight from South India to Australia, between Bengaluru and Sydney, has been solidly booked since its launch in November. To use a cricketing analogy, the Australia-India technology relationship has now entered the Powerplay. 

Over this summit I look forward to engaging with many of you to explain further why Australia is an ideal destination for Indian technology companies and talent to invest, to work, to study and to live. Australia offers one of the best business climates in the world and our companies are eager adopters of cutting-edge technologies. We offer flexible visa programs and pathways for skilled migrants. My own electorate in Melbourne's west is home to a significant number of Australians of Indian origin who work in the tech sector, indeed one in ten of the voters in my electorate were born in India. Our universities are world-class and we are glad to welcome back large numbers of Indian students to our shores and our interim economic cooperation and trade agreement signed this year will also give generous post-study work rights to STEM graduates.

Now I'm sure I don't need to outline the benefit of an Australian lifestyle to the people in this room. We are routinely rated as one of the best places in the world to live.  But please do stop by at the Australian country pavilion in the Exhibition Hall to learn more. 

We also recognise the immense value that India offers Australian firms, whether by tech talent, impressive research collaboration, or a thriving global tech hub in which innovation and backend service logistics thrive and prosper.

And in a policy sense, as comprehensive, strategic partners, Australia and India can work together to tackle the many pressing challenges before us, including contributing to securing supply chains with critical minerals, developing new technologies in response to climate change and bringing to market technologies which improve every aspect of the day-to-day life of our citizens. I look forward to the discussion over the course of BTS and offer my thanks to the Government of India and the Government of Karnataka for the opportunity to be here today. Thank you.

Speaker: Australia are very happy to be associated with Karnataka and India. Thank you, his Excellency Mr Tim Watts.

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