Summer 2021 Update

Victorian businesses continued to connect and pursue business opportunities with South Asia throughout 2020. While there are still challenges ahead, economic activity in major South Asian economies continues a steady return towards pre-coronavirus levels and vaccination plans are now in place in each country in the region.

The economic outlook for 2021 is positive and businesses will be able to capitalise on the changes to business practices and consumer behaviour that took place in the region in 2020.

This update provides insights into opportunities in India’s newly released Australia Economic Strategy, India’s 2021 Budget, growing opportunities in the innovation and tech sector, recent business successes and the support Global Victoria will continue to provide Victorian businesses through virtual trade missions, the Global Gateway program and other events.

Business success stories
Technology sector activities
  • The Hon Martin Pakula, Minister for Trade, joined the Prime Ministers of Australia and India in attending the virtual Bengaluru Tech Summit in November 2020, Asia’s largest technology event. Minister Pakula showcased Victoria’s technology strengths and the growing opportunities for collaboration and innovation between Victoria and India.
  • Nine Victorian edtech companies collectively secured 18 pilot programs to demonstrate and test their products in the Indian market. Global Victoria partnered with the India Didactic Association (IDA) to promote Victorian edtech companies to IDA’s extensive school membership base and secure the pilots.
  • Twelve edtech companies from Victoria participated in the Victorian Virtual EdTech Trade Mission to India in January and February 2021. The program included business matching and introductions to education distributors and strategic partners. As part of the mission, companies exhibited at The International Education and Skills Summit (TIESS) organised by the IDA and the Education World Forum. Victoria was a state partner for the TIESS virtual summit.
  • Startupbootcamp and Global Victoria partnered to deliver the first Victoria India Smart Energy Exchange connecting Victorian startups with Indian corporate partners Bosch, GE, Schneider, Shell and Tata Power, and giving them access to special support from Victoria’s SunPower Renewables and Mr Manoj Kohli, Country Head of Softbank India and Asia Society Victoria Distinguished Fellow.
  • Global Victoria led the first digital games trade mission to India virtually, in partnership with Creative Victoria. The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA), the Australia India Institute and Creative Victoria produced the first report on Opportunities in Video Games between Victoria and India.
  • La Trobe University and T-Hub are partnering through La Trobe’s Global Market Access Program to help startups enter the Indian market. AusIndustry has provided funding for the program and Global Victoria helped facilitate the partnership. The first cohort in 2020 supported four Australian startups: Trainer (Victoria), TBH Pets (Victoria), Anidra (Victoria) and Tekuma.

Global Victoria Women (GVw)

The Global Victoria Women program of events continues to support women in international business. Leading Indian businesswoman and Victoria’s Business Ambassador in India, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw AO, joined the GVw Female Business Leader Virtual Seminar in 2020 event to share her insights. View the video here.

Digital gaming is an exciting new area of opportunity

The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) and Australia India Institute released their collaborative report on Fostering Opportunities in Video Games both Between Victoria and India in January 2021. The report draws on consultations with Indian and Victorian industry stakeholders and highlights three main areas of opportunity:

  1. joint ventures combining different experience and production capacity to produce sophisticated games;
  2. collaboration with Victorian education providers to support skills development in India’s gaming sector; and
  3. partnerships to support market entry.

Companies explored these opportunities in 2020, when Global Victoria and Creative Victoria led the first Victorian digital games trade mission to India for the India Game Developer Conference 2020. The mission supported 11 delegates from Victorian gaming companies, startups and industry associations to understand the Indian market and pursue emerging opportunities.

India’s Australia Economic Strategy demonstrates India’s commitment to engagement with Australia and identifies its priority areas for trade

The Indian Government launched India’s Australia Economic Strategy in December 2020 outlining the trade opportunities from India’s perspective. The Indian Government commissioned India’s Ambassador Anil Wadhwa and  the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to develop the strategy in response to Australia’s India Strategy, which was authored by Peter Varghese AO and released in July 2018.

The strategy provides a comprehensive list of sectors of interest to India and chapters on opportunities with each Australian state including Victoria. Most notably for Victoria, the strategy’s focus sectors include agribusiness, biotech, education, healthcare, mining and resources, technology and services, pharmaceutical and biotech, power and renewable energy, and railways. The emerging sectors include education technology, sport and sports technology, textile and textile designing, water management, and digital gaming and animation.

The strategy’s implementation chapter makes 27 recommendations, including increasing CII’s presence in Australia, reactivating an Australia India business leaders’ forum and continuing negotiations for a free trade agreement.

India’s 2021 Budget provides a plan for economic revocery, including a new agriculture development tax

The Indian Government released its 2021 Budget on 1 February 2021 with a strong focus on regaining economic growth lost since the onset of coronavirus. Health, infrastructure, education, innovation and foreign investment attraction are the main areas of focus in the Budget. The Budget will increase the Government’s capital expenditure to 2.3 per cent of GDP in India’s 2021 financial year and 2.5 per cent in the 2022 financial year. India’s fiscal deficit will also increase in the short term to support recovery and stimulus efforts. The Budget estimates it will reach 9.5 per cent in the 2021 financial year before setting the target of reducing it to 6.8 per cent in 2022.

An area of interest for Victorian exporters is the Budget’s Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC), which brings in a new tax on a range of products including food and beverage products to help fund infrastructure development in the agriculture sector. The AIDC will apply to a range of products including alcoholic beverages (100%) crude soyabean and sunflower oil (20%), apples (35%), peas (40%), Kabuli chickpeas (30%), Bengal gram/chickpeas (50%) and lentils (masoor) (20%). However, on same items, the Indian Government states that the cess will be offset by reductions in the customs duties.

Please seek professional tax advice to understand how these changes may impact your business’s exports.

Looking to do business with South Asia?

Reach out to the Global Victoria South Asia team to discuss strategies for your products and how we can help.

In-Market Insights - India: Education June 2020

In-Market Insights is a series of videos presented by Global Victoria's team members from across its international network of 22 Victorian Government Trade and Investment offices (VGTIs). The series sheds light on the current state of play in key global markets and sectors.

This episode features Global Victoria’s Annie Santhana - Regional Director of Education from our VGTI office in Bengaluru, India. Annie shares her expertise on emerging opportunities in India for Victorian education providers.

VIDEO: Global Victoria's In-market Insights - India: Education June 2020

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