Visit cements Sister State relationship with Andhra Pradesh

WA delegation in spotlight at summit meeting
Date: Thursday, 09 February 2017

Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) Acting Deputy Director General Rick Rogerson was a key member of the large Western Australian delegation that attended the Andhra Pradesh Partnership Summit 2017 in India late last month.

WA delegation in spotlight at summit meeting
Department of State Development Director General Steve Wood (right) waits to speak at the Andhra Pradesh Partnership Summit 2017 as Australian Consul General for South India Sean Kelly addresses the audience.

The visit cemented WA’s Sister State agreement with Andhra Pradesh signed in December last year by Treasurer Mike Nahan on behalf of Premier Colin Barnett, and Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.

Andhra Pradesh’s capital Visakhapatnam hosted nearly 5000 delegates from 51 countries, including 10 overseas trade ministers, at the partnership summit.

“The WA delegation led by Department of State Development Director General Steve Wood dominated the Australian presence at the summit,” Mr Rogerson said.

“We certainly had a high profile with Mr Wood delivering a speech and the WA delegation having a private meeting with the Chief Minister, who stressed the importance of the Sister State agreement.”

Mr Rogerson said that Mr Naidu had established an impressive record as Chief Minister that included Andhra Pradesh achieving India’s highest economic growth rate by attracting industrial investment and creating jobs.

“The statistics tell a story of dynamic growth in a State that has 27 cities with populations of more than one million,” Mr Rogerson said. “In 2015–16, Andhra Pradesh had a Gross State Product of $US100 billion and an economic growth rate of 11 per cent.”

During the summit, the Andhra Pradesh government signed more than 600 investment-related Memoranda of Understanding (MoA) with hundreds of companies, representing a total investment value of $AUD20 billion and the potential for 2.25 million jobs.

Some of the MoUs were signed by Perth-based companies NSL Consolidated Limited (iron ore mines) and Australian Indian Resources (gold and base metals deposits).

“Although the aim of the summit was to attract investment into Andhra Pradesh, I spoke to representatives of a number of medium to large Indian companies who expressed interest in either investing in iron ore, manganese and other metals projects in WA, or in securing product offtake,” Mr Rogerson said.

“DMP has provided follow-up information to these companies.”

The WA delegation included senior representatives from Perth City Council, Curtin University, and Perth-based resources companies.