Media Release by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

Australia India Address Highlights Excellent Relations Between Two Nations

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said last night’s address by the Foreign Minister, The Hon Julie Bishop MP, to the Annual Australia India Address in Sydney, highlighted the strong bond between the two nations.

“As the Parliamentary Secretary with special responsibility for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, I was pleased to attend, along with the wife of the Prime Minister Mrs. Margie Abbott. In delivering the Address the Foreign Minister acknowledged the excellent relationship between Australia and India,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

“Our host, the Australia India Business Council, has worked tirelessly since 1986 to develop business opportunities through organising events and building knowledge and networks.

“The Council promotes trade dialogue through relationships with all levels of government and industry in India and Australia.

“The Indian community here in Australia is one of our fastest growing, and has made many significant contributions to Australian society.

“India is now one of our top three source countries of migrants and our two-way goods and services trade was worth $15.2 billion in 2013.

“I would like to commend the Council’s excellent work in furthering trade relations between our two countries and for its efforts in furthering cooperation and innovation.

“Australia’s Indian community is an important part of our social, cultural and economic fabric, and it makes particular contributions to our nation through its work in IT, and as engineers, accountants, cooks and toolmakers.

“Australia is a major destination for Indian students. There were over 36,000 Indian students studying here in 2013, making India the second-largest source country for overseas students in Australia. I’m sure that both nations will benefit from the students’ knowledge, ties to Australia, and the relationships they build while they are studying,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

“The Indian community will be a vital part of Australia’s future prosperity so I thank all involved in the Australia India Business Council for their dedication to a mutually successful outlook for both our nations.”