India Economic Strategy Refresh with Patricia Smith

On 25 June 2024, the Perth USAsia Centre hosted Patricia Smith, Assistant Secretary of the India Branch at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), for a roundtable discussion.

India is Australia’s fifth-largest trading partner. The most populous country in the world, its burgeoning economy is set to be the third largest by the end of the decade. 18 months since the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) came into force, Australia is well-positioned to benefit from India’s growth.

Ms Smith engaged attendees as part of consultations for DFAT’s ‘New Roadmap for Australia’s Economic Relationship with India’, which is set for publication later this year.
Participants discussed the future of the India-Australia relationship and shared the diverse challenges and opportunities present in the bilateral partnership. Conversation ranged from domestic industries to geopolitical influences, covering the economic potential of not only trade and investment, but also people-to-people ties.



Patricia Smith is Assistant Secretary of India Branch at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Canberra. The branch, which she has led since January 2024, is responsible for deepening bilateral relations with India and leading the process to deliver a new Roadmap for Australia’s Economic Engagement with India. 

Prior to taking up her current role, she was Chief of Staff to the Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Tim Watts. A career DFAT officer, Ms Smith’s experience spans China policy, strategic affairs and communications. She has served overseas at Australian embassies in Beijing, Taipei (as Director — Economic), and Tel Aviv. 

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