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UNSW Sydney, in partnership with Asia Society Australia, welcomed Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu as the keynote speaker of the Leaders on Asia Address last week at the Mint in Sydney. During the speech, Prabhu explored how economic reforms are fuelling India’s growth economy and urged partnerships with Australian industries, businesses and educational institutions to further progress.

Speaking to academic, government and business leaders, Prabhu gave the address as part of his two-day visit to Australia where he also held discussions with Australian officials about investments and trade deals between the two countries.  

Charged with leading India’s policies on commerce and industry, Prabhu has led some of India’s major economic reforms such as ‘Make in India,’ ‘Digital India,’ and ‘Ease of Doing Business,’ which are recognised as significant drivers in India’s economic growth. India is one of the fastest growing major economies in the world and is expected to be one of the top three global economic powers over the next 10 to 15 years.

Prabhu emphasised the potential for Australian collaboration, particularly in manufacturing and agricultural production. He encouraged universities and research institutions to join with agricultural manufacturing facilities to propel productivity and economic growth.

“I am struck with the opportunities and sense of collaboration India is building with Australia and hope to harness our collective power to drive future growth in both economies,” said Prabhu.  

UNSW Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International Laurie Pearcey said India’s forecast growth as Asia’s next superpower, and the accompanied growth of the middle class, present a rare opportunity for UNSW.

“India is an increasingly strong market for UNSW with enrolments for 2018 at 551 students – up from 231 students in 2017,” said Pearcey. “This growth, a 138% increase, is indicative of the importance UNSW places on the bilateral relationship with India. We are committed to strengthening our ties across research, education and industry.”

Leaders on Asia presents high-profile events with visiting heads of state, ministers, senior officials, dignitaries and leading thinkers from the Indo-Pacific region and Australia. It provides members with direct access to leaders who shape the present and future of the region. The session was facilitated by Jennie Lang, UNSW Honorary Fellow and Asia Society Board Member, and Swati Dave, Managing Director and CEO of Export Finance and Insurance Corporation.