Statement by the former Foreign Minister, Senator the Hon. Marise Payne
Strengthening our technology partnership with India.
Australia is strengthening our technology partnership with India through the establishment of a new Consulate-General in Bengaluru and a Centre of Excellence for Critical and Emerging Technology Policy, also to be based in India.
Bengaluru is the world’s fourth-largest technology cluster, and home to a third of India’s unicorn companies. Bengaluru and its vibrant business community will play a determinative role in India’s rise as a technological superpower. It is home to significant biotech, aerospace and defence industries, a thriving start-up ecosystem, India’s national space agency as well as leading education and research institutions.
The new Consulate-General will focus on deepening Australia’s ties to India’s vibrant innovators, technologists and entrepreneurs. It will support Australian businesses in one of the world’s most important commercial centres. Half of the next billion internet users are projected to be in India, and India’s digital economy, centred on Bengaluru, is set to grow to US$1 trillion by 2025.
The Consulate-General will expand our diplomatic presence in India to five diplomatic posts, further to our High Commission in New Delhi and Consulates-General in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, deepening our engagement with Indian governments at all levels. This will promote engagement with India’s southern states and our outreach to Australia’s diaspora and alumni communities.
Through our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, India and Australia are at the forefront of determining the design, development and use of emerging technologies. Our existing Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership and its bilateral grants program were a significant first step in strengthening these ties.
As the Prime Minister said at the Bengaluru Tech Summit, we are elevating this cooperation even further. The Centre of Excellence for Critical and Emerging Technology Policy will bring together Australian and Indian technologists, policy practitioners, academics, researchers and thought leaders. It is a multi-stakeholder initiative that will help guide the responsible development and use of critical technologies.
It will promote stronger investment opportunities and cutting-edge innovation in cyber, critical and emerging technologies. It will amplify Australia’s and India’s policy impact globally, while visiting fellows from around the Indo-Pacific will broaden the Centre’s influence.
The Centre of Excellence is among the flagship initiatives of Australia’s new Action Plan for Critical Technologies, and an important part of delivering on Australia’s strategy for protecting and promoting technologies, the Blueprint for Critical Technologies. It will provide a practical platform for Australia and India to work together to shape technology governance that aligns with our values and supports an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific.