Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Hon Barry O’Farrell praises India for adopting fundamental reforms that have opened up its sectors to new investment despite Covid 19 challenges faced by the economy.
“In responding to the economic challenges of COVID-19, we have seen India adopt fundamental reforms that have opened up its sectors to new investment,” O’Farrell said.
O’Farrell was addressing a joint meeting between India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and the largest investment funds from Australia which collectively manage assets of more than AUD 736 billion (INR 38 lakh crore).
The virtual delegation included several of Australia’s largest superannuation (pension) funds and the Future Fund, Australia’s independently managed sovereign wealth fund.
“There will be high growth in demand for infrastructure as India looks to support its economic recovery, presenting opportunities for Australian investors,” he added.
In August 2019 Australian Super, Australia’s largest superannuation fund signed an agreement of up to USD 1 billion with the NIIF Master Fund. The agreement included USD 250 million in the Master Fund and co-investment rights of up to USD 750 million to build up to USD 750 million of transport, energy and urban infrastructure.
The virtual delegation delivers on a commitment made in June between Prime Ministers Modi and Morrison, when they elevated Australia-India ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, to raise awareness among Australian funds of the opportunities in India’s infrastructure sector with the NIIF.
Australian investors also heard from representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Confederation of Indian Industry on how recent policy reforms enable greater ease-of-doing-business in India.
“While Australian investors will make their own commercial decisions, increasing Australian investment stocks in India deepens our economic integration. The Australian High Commission is happy to support knowledge and network building among investors,” Mr O’Farrell said.
According to the Willis Towers Watson Global Pensions Asset Study, Australia finished 2019 with the world’s fourth-largest pension (superannuation) market in the world, valued at AUD 2.95 trillion (INR 150 lakh crore).
Organized by the Australian Government and the NIIF, the virtual delegation follows in-person tours to New Delhi and Mumbai in 2018 and 2019 facilitated by the Australian Government.
Australia-India two-way investment flows have doubled in the last five years to reach AUD 30.7 billion (INR 1.6 lakh crore) in 2019, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.