By Ashok Kumar
Sydney, 8 Feb,
Australia India Business Council (AIBC) National Chair Sheba Nandkeolyar has a knack for discovering fascinating yet exciting venues for her events. She chose Commonwealth Bank (CBA) Headquarters building on the bustling Sussex Street in the City overlooking the picturesque Darling Harbour for the welcome of new High Commissioner of India to Australia H.E. Dr. A. M. Gondane, IFS.
It may be recalled that at the farewell of former High Commissioner H.E. Mr. Navdeep Suri, Sheba had announced that for the welcome new High Commissioner will be at a new venue. And, success of the event is spelled by the selection of the venue.
In his address, Chief Guest, Dr. Gondane said Australia India relations are on an upward trajectory and we
to give it further acceleration. “Australians are happy, dynamic people who are eager to share, and I am looking forward to making my contribution to the Australia-India relationship. Every relationship has its ebbs and flows, and this particular relationship is currently on the rise, he said. Talking about India, he said “You may have heard large numbers, but India is a small economy, and a big nation. Not even a miniscule proportion of my people are like the people you have interacted with. We are home to a large number of poor who can’t afford basic health and education. We bear the responsibility of overcoming these problems.”
”He also spoke about the students forming an important link in the path of cementing this relationship. In this process, the humble diplomat said even he is a student and still learning. Dr. Gondane displayed no airs and mingled with the gathered crowd and invited them with an invitation to his Canberra office.
Earlier, Gunjan Pagare, Head of NRI Banking, CBA gave a brief introduction of the longstanding partnership with the AIBC. In fact, CBA is the platinum partner of AIBC in all the events. He apprised the guests that the population of Indian Australian community has grown to about 450,000 and CBA plays a major role in looking after the banking needs of the community. CBA is Australia’s largest bank and provider of integrated financial services, and share-broking products and services. CBA vision is to excel at securing and enhancing the financial wellbeing of people, businesses and communities.
AIBC, National Vice Chair Jim Varghese led the AIBC 30 delegates strong delegation to the Vibrant Gujarat Summit last month. The delegates evinced keen interest in business ventures to develop best business opportunities. Sheba Nandkeolyar in her welcome address, said, “Both India and Australia are more openly looking at this corridor of opportunities and I am certain Vibrant Gujarat is a great foundation to start. The Summit is indeed an amazing world platform to interact with key policy-makers, industry leaders, global thought leaders, regulators and renowned academicians from India, Australia and all over the world. This initiative is a valuable means to initiate and foster bilateral relationships between stakeholders through B2B and B2G meetings.” AIBC delegates’ diverse business interests included education, skills development, mining, pharmaceuticals, fertilisers, toxicology, financial services, digital products and services, and manufacturing.
Talking about skills development, Sheba gave an excellent example of an Australian sharpening his skills in dairy farming project in Punjab. Punjab is the leading state as far as dairy farming is concerned. Recently it was revealed that the Australia, India trade balance stands at USD 9654 with export growth rate at -2.1%. And import growth rate of -5.1%. Among the major exports to India is Coal, gold and copper ores.
The gathering was addressed by former NSW Premier and Deputy Chairman
of Australia- India Council where he related his experiences in India, especially in Bangalore and Mumbai negotiating with taxi drivers. Barry in his welcome address said, “I’m sure Dr Gondane will feel at home here in Sydney. We have Bangalore traffic, Mumbai house prices and Delhi bureaucracy to negotiate.”
Dr. Jim Varghese presented the vote of thanks and said “The Australia India Business Council is proud to once again partner with Vibrant Gujarat for the biennial Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2017 as part of our commitment to providing our AIBC members with the best business opportunities to develop valuable partnerships with business, government, and industry in India. AIBC is honoured and grateful for the strong indication of support from Gujarat Government. This is a platform for businesses and influencers to come together to explore some of the current global opportunities.”