Modi faces another hectic day at G20 Summit and in Brisbane

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Brisbane, Nov 16: After going through a series of closed door meetings and summit sessions Saturday, Nov 15, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a busy schedule on the concluding day of the G20 Summit in Brisbane on Sunday.

Prime minister's Sunday schedule would include meeting world dignitaries, attending the G20 Summit session and various public events.

G20

As a part of the schedule, Modi has already met German Chancellor Angela Merkel prior to G-20 session in the afternoon Brisbane time.

Later in the day, Modi would unveil a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Brisbane's inner street Roma Street Parkland.

Before that, Indian PM is expected to meet the premier of the hosting state Queensland. This meeting is being considered as very important from Queensland' perspective.

Even though Premier Campbell Newman has not revealed the agenda for his tate-A-tate with the visiting dignitary from India, it is likely that he would seek Indian investment for the big ticket infrastructure projects such as the rail or ports.

The Queensland government is desperately seeking funds for development of the Galilee Basin to ensure the massive Indian coal mines get developed.

The meeting assumes significance as an Indian tycoon Gautam Adani, who has been putting together the $16 billion Carmichael project, is also in Brisbane these days. It is expected that an announcement would be made after Modi meets Campbell Newman.

Adani is considered very close to prime minister Modi.

The self-made Gujarati tycoon is not the only Indian business person engaged in mega coal mining projects in Queensland. Another Indian conglomerate GVK are also hoping to mine vast amounts of coal in the Galilee Basin.

While Adanis are trying to start construction early next year, it is becoming increasingly hard to attract investments as coal prices are not showing any signs of improving.

The Queensland government is ready to commit funds for the mega Indian coal projects which would translate into thousands of construction and mining jobs for the state.

"We are prepared to invest in core, common-user infrastructure," the Queensland premier told media Sunday morning.

"The role of government is to make targeted investments to get something going and exit in a few year's time," Newman added.

It would be interesting to note if any announcement of Indian investment is made after the meeting of Modi and the Queensland premier.

The reluctance of the financial institution and strong opposition by the environmental lobby may influence Modi making any commitment.

(Paritosh Parasher can be contacted at paritoshparasher@yahoo.com)

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