Western Australia’s Economic Relationship with India: The Need for a State Strategy to Recover and Grow the Relationship

By Hugo Seymour

Over the last decade, India’s economy has more than doubled in size. Yet, while the value of Australia-India trade has grown, Western Australia’s trade with India has more than halved. This divergence is not due to a lack of economic complementarities, or opportunities for trade and investment growth.

A strengthened WA-India economic relationship is both possible and necessary. The structurally-driven growth of the Indian economy, which in a decade’s time will match the size of China’s today, will increasingly provide WA with opportunities to advance its economic diversification priorities. 

The growing potential of the WA-India economic relationship is driven by India’s considerable expansion in consumer and industrial demand, as well as central and state government policies to improve the business climate and the delivery of essential services.

A strengthened economic relationship must be qualitatively different to WA’s commodities-driven relationships in Northeast Asia. Executing a new economic strategy with India, focusing on increased services trade, technical partnerships and in-market engagement, will be necessary for success.

WA has the private and public sector capacity to rectify the current divergence between India’s growth and WA’s economic relationship with India. In the long term, deeper economic ties with India will help ensure WA remains connected into the corridors of regional and global growth.

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