Australia hopes to tap projected USD 1 trillion India's digital economy through Bengaluru consulate

Australia is geared to tap the projected USD 1 trillion Bengaluru-centric India's digital economy by establishing a new Consulate General in Bengaluru, known as India's tech capital

Nov 18, 2021
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Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne

Australia is geared to tap the projected USD 1 trillion Bengaluru-centric India's digital economy by establishing a new Consulate General in Bengaluru, known as India's tech capital.  Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had announced the establishment of Consulate General in Bengaluru in his address to the 2021 Bengaluru Tech summit.

"The new Consulate-General will focus on deepening Australia's ties to India's vibrant innovators, technologists and entrepreneurs and will support Australian businesses in one of the world's most important commercial centres. Half of the next billion internet users are projected to be in India, and India's digital economy, centred on Bengaluru, is set to grow to USD 1 trillion by 2025," Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said on Wednesday in a statement.

Bengaluru is the world's fourth-largest technology cluster, and home to a third of India's unicorn companies, Payne said, adding that Bengaluru and its vibrant business community will play a determinative role in India's rise as a technological superpower, which is home to significant biotech, aerospace and defence industries, a thriving start-up ecosystem, national space agency as well as a leading education and research institutions.

The Consulate-General will expand its diplomatic presence in India to five diplomatic posts, further to its High Commission in New Delhi and Consulates-General in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, deepening its engagement with Indian governments at all levels, said Payne.

"This will promote engagement with India's southern states and our outreach to Australia's diaspora and alumni communities," adding that Australia is also strengthening its technology partnership with India through the establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Critical and Emerging Technology Policy in India."

"It is a multi-stakeholder initiative that will help guide the responsible development and use of critical technologies. It will promote stronger investment opportunities and cutting-edge innovation in cyber, critical and emerging technologies," she said.

The Centre of Excellence is among the flagship initiatives of Australia's new Action Plan for Critical Technologies, and an important part of delivering on Australia’s strategy for protecting and promoting technologies, the Blueprint for Critical Technologies, Marise said.

It will also escalate Australia and India's policy impact globally, while visiting fellows from around the Indo-Pacific will broaden the Centre’s influence, she said.

It will provide a practical platform for Australia and India to work together to shape technology governance that aligns with our values and supports an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific, the minister added.

"Through our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, India and Australia are at the forefront of determining the design, development and use of emerging technologies. Our existing Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership and its bilateral grants programme were a significant first step in strengthening these ties," she said.(SAM)