THE Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA will take a Western Australian trade mission to India in September to capitalise on trade opportunities arising out of one of the world’s fastest growing economies. The seven-day mission, to be headed by CCI president Dr Brian Hewitt, will depart on September 23 and will visit the major Indian cities of Mumbai, Pune and Chennai. India has overtaken Indonesia to become Australia’s 12th largest merchandise trading partner, with two-way trade totalling $7.3 billion in 2004-05. And WA was a major contributor to that result, with bilateral trade between the state and India topping $3.1 billion – 45 per cent of the national total. CCI chief executive John Langoulant said there appeared to be considerable scope to increase business between WA and India. Trade with India currently represents around 6 per cent of the state’s total trade. Mr Langoulant said WA and Indian trade was dominated by gold exports worth nearly $2.8 billion in 2004-05, and this represented more than 93 per cent of the value of all the state’s exports to India. Imports from India to WA are mixed, and made up mostly of manufactured equipment and base metals, including big quantities of heating and cooling equipment, steam turbines, boilers, pipes, fittings and steel parts. India has modernised its economic and trade policies in recent years, reducing government administrative impediments, which have resulted in the country becoming more open to import and export activity. CCI believes the September trade mission is a chance to capitalise on new opportunities arising in tourism, health, education, insurance, biodiversity and ICT, among other sectors.
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