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Australia's PM Howard Visits Mumbai, India

Visit To Mumbai

Today I visited Mumbai, the capital of India’s Maharashtra State.

As India’s largest city and a key commercial and investment centre, Mumbai is an important focus for major Australian companies, over 40 of which have operations in the city. My visit focused on promotion of Australian commercial and business interests and included an address to a business luncheon hosted by the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

During my visit, I welcomed the official opening of new offices in Mumbai by three leading Australian companies - Macquarie Equities, Leightons and Linfox – and witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between Santos Ltd and Indian company Reliance Industries Ltd. A high-level delegation of representatives from these and other major Australian companies participated in my Mumbai programme, underscoring Australia’s commitment to enhancing further our rapidly expanding trade and investment relationship with India.

I also witnessed the signing of two new programmes of cooperation between our educational institutions, which will see the substantial education links between Australia and India continue to strengthen and develop. Monash University, in collaboration with BHP Billiton, is partnering with the Indian Institute of Technology Mumbai (IIT Mumbai) to establish a joint institution for scientific research, while the University of New South Wales has also formalised a partnership with IIT Mumbai to develop collaborative research programmes in computer science.

While in Mumbai, I met the director and cast of the highly successful Bollywood movie, Salaam Namaste, which was filmed in Melbourne. The Australian Government looks forward to a deeper association between Australia and the Indian film industry in the future.

I should also like to announce Australia’s support for the International Monetary Fund Regional Training Centre in Pune. Australia has committed to providing $3 million over three years to the centre, which will strengthen the capacity of officials from South Asian and East African countries to analyse macroeconomic conditions, problems and policies.


07 March 2006

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