Historic agreement with Gujarat highlight of Premier's visit to India

21 January 2015

Premier Mike Baird and the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the Hon Ms Anandiben Patel.

NSW Premier Mike Baird witnessed a new agreement with the Indian state of Gujarat during his recent visit to India that will strengthen cultural, trade and diplomatic relations between NSW and India.

A new Memorandum of Understanding between NSW and Gujarat came into effect after Mr Baird and the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the Hon Ms Anandiben Patel, attended an official signing in Ahmedabad.

Mr Baird said the agreement allows both states to share knowledge and expertise across five key areas. "This historic agreement marks the start of a new chapter between NSW and Gujarat and outlines our mutual desire to share knowledge in the areas of education, skills development, water security, clean technology and smart city and infrastructure development.

"Gujarat is undergoing a major urban transformation, including plans to build eight cities across the state, which is home to 6.2 million mostly rural residents.

"Our cultural and historic connections to India place us in a fortunate position. We have an opportunity to share knowledge and learn from each other during this major development drive, which will in turn benefit both our state economies.

"The Gujarat International Finance Tec-City, which has similarities to Sydney's financial and residential hub Barangaroo, is under construction in Ahmedabad. As part of the MOU, a delegation of planning experts from UrbanGrowth and the Barangaroo Delivery Authority plans to travel to Gujarat to share insights into sustainable urban planning."

Mr Baird said the MoU would also open pathways for a two-way exchange of students between NSW and Gujarat to give students a global experience and grow networks between the two states.

"Water security and clean technology are also increasing areas of concern across India and as part of our partnership with Gujarat we'll share expertise to assist with waste water treatment and recycling."

Mr Baird also visited Mumbai where he met the Chief Minister of Maharashtra to progress initiatives as part of NSW's Sister State relationship with Maharashtra.

While in Mumbai, Mr Baird announced that an online tourism campaign showcasing Sydney and NSW would be expanded onto television screens across India to encourage more people to experience the beauty of NSW for themselves.

"The Jhappi Time online marketing campaign, created by Destination NSW, started in India early last year and helped contribute to a 21 per cent increase in Indian visitor arrivals to NSW for the 12 months to August 2014."

In New Delhi, the Premier met with NSW delegates attending Australia Business Week in India to outline how the NSW Government is facilitating increased trade and investment with India.