Jay Weatherill, the Premier of South Australia, one of the six states that make up the Commonwealth of Australia, is in India on a mission of engagement. Other than mining and energy, aerospace and defence, education, training and clean technology figure in his plans, he told Sachin P Mampatta in an interview. Excerpts:
What are your expectations from this visit?
This is my first visit. So most of it is building relationships and meeting people. But we certainly do expect that there will be a number of arrangements that would flow from our visit.
What discussions you have had with companies so far?
We are interested in encouraging Indian companies to look at our iron-ore reserves in South Australia and potential steel making resources. We have also signed a memorandum of understanding with a company for exploring technologies for manufacturing solar panels in South Australia.
India has been spending a great deal on defence in recent times, what opportunities are you exploring in the sector?
One company from Adelaide, which has an office in India is called Codan. It is involved in a range of defence and security technologies, including radio and communications. We also have expertise in land-based systems and electronics including armoured vehicles, naval systems and systems integration. We also have some capabilities for fabrication of aircraft.
What opportunities are you exploring in clean technology?
South Australia has a strong reputation for action in relation to clean technology. We’ve got a target of 33% of our power coming in through renewable energy sources by 2020. We are keen on developing technology to help us do that. That’s why we’re looking to partner with Indian companies to grow the sector which is already a substantial sector in South Australia.