Brisbane, Nov 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met business leaders over breakfast here on Monday and said that the Australian state of Queensland can be a vital partner in India's development.
Speaking at the breakfast meeting organised by Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, Modi said he has always placed great emphasis on relations between states and not just between national capitals, according to a statement issued by the ministry of external affairs.
"You and your government are doing a lot to pursue economic opportunities with India," Modi told Premier Newman.
"(In) September, there was a Queensland-Gujarat Energy Roundtable in Gandhinagar... I am naturally pleased that Queensland will be participating in the 'Vibrant Gujarat' summit in 2015 to showcase its infrastructural capabilities," Modi added.
He also noted that trade delegations from Queensland have been sent to other Indian cities like New Delhi and Kolkata as well.
"India is (Queensland's) fourth largest export destination. For us, Queensland is emerging as a major investment destination," Modi said at the meeting.
He welcomed the state's efforts to invest for A$16 billion in coal mining, which he said, would "set a new standard for India-Australia cooperation".
"(It will) demonstrate how Australia and (the state of ) Queensland can be a vital partner in meeting India's requirement for energy and other vital resources," Modi said.
The prime minister said that there were immense possibilities for cooperation between India and Queensland, not just in the area of coal, which is already a major item of exports to India, but also in resources in general, as the Indian industrial sector gathered momentum and grows.
"We could also commence the import of liquified natural gas from Queensland," Modi said at the meeting.
The prime minister noted that Queensland is the leader in the areas of mining and mining technologies, services and equipment, mining consultancy, mine safety, coal washeries and mine management."Queensland's economy has been performing well, on basis of (its) traditional strengths... like tourism, resources and agriculture, (and) also through... investments in areas of advanced technologies and services," Modi said.
The prime minister noted that Queensland could be a partner in strengthening India's food security, agriculture, education and advanced technology requirements.
"Indian investors would be willing to partner with (Queensland), as more and more Indians are drawn to the incredible beauty and hospitality of (this) state," Modi said.
The prime minister spoke about launching the "Make in India" initiative to promote manufacturing in the country.
He encouraged businesses in Queensland to participate in India's ambitious plan for smart, sustainable and habitable cities to cater to its growing urban population.
"It is expected that nearly 11 percent of the world's urban population in 2025 will live in India," Modi told the business leaders at the meeting."You can make India a manufacturing hub... and import back (to) Australia," he said.
"We have launched a major set of reforms to boost economic growth and improve the quality of life of (the) people," Modi added.
"You will begin to find a difference in India," Modi told the business leaders and assured that there would no longer be uncertain and unpredictable pathways and hurdles for doing business in India.