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© Neena Bhandari

SYDNEY, April 8: Joining the bandwagon of Australian Premiers seeking a slice of India’s economic boom, state of Queensland’s Premier Anna Bligh is in India this week to promote the state's expertise in knowledge-based industries.

India imported 15.4 million tonnes of Queensland coal, valued at A$1.9 billion, and A$358 million worth of metal ores during the last financial year. Queensland food products exported to India valued at A$54 million during the same period.

During the India leg of her first trade mission, Bligh is seeking to promote Queensland’s export companies and resources.

“India is Queensland’s third largest trading partner, and there is significant potential for increasing trade in areas that will be beneficial to both trading partners. Queensland is already well-known in India as a reliable provider of high quality resources and food products,” Bligh said.

During her first visit to Delhi and Mumbai, she wants to promote Queensland’s vast export potential in areas such as education, health, clean coal technology, biotechnology, infrastructure, marine and renewable fuels.

Queensland Universities currently have 5,078 Indian students. India's Whistling Woods School of Television has a student exchange program with Brisbane's Griffith University.

Bligh’s 13-day trip has included China and Japan. She said, "Like China, the Indian market is broadening and we have a unique opportunity to take advantage of this shift."

“I will be encouraging further collaboration between India and Queensland in areas of mutual interest such as climate change research and preparations for the upcoming Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi in 2010”, she added.

Some of the Queensland companies doing business with India include JK Tech Pty Ltd and Sedgman Limited in mining technology and services sector; and Mind Challenge Ltd, a company that specializes solely in the invention and marketing of thinking puzzles and games for children.

Brisbane-based Beech Ovens sells tandoori ovens to India and Callidan Instruments is another Queensland-based company, which manufactures and exports cutting-edge microwave technology. The company, which produces low-cost on-line microwave moisture analysers, made its first sale to TATA Steel and has recently set up distributors in India.

In 2006-07 the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) assisted 41 Queensland companies achieve export deals worth A$296 million to India.

Indian companies with offices in Queensland include Thalanga Copper Mines, Tata International (Australia) Pty Ltd., MRF Tyres and Mahindra Tractors Australia.

© Copyright Neena Bhandari. All rights reserved. Republication, copying or using information from any content is expressly prohibited without  the permission of the writer and the news agency through which the article is syndicated.
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