NSW Premier to visit India on Saturday

Barry O`Farrell seeks to promote New South Wales` capabilities in financial services, infrastructure, IT and education.

Melbourne: New South Wales Premier Barry O`Farrell is all set to leave on a six-day trade mission to India in a bid to promote the Australian state`s capabilities in financial services, infrastructure, IT and education.

O`Farrell will leave for India on Saturday. A strong delegation of business and education leaders will accompany him on the mission to Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, according to local media here.

During his visit, O`Farrell will promote the state`s capabilities in financial services, infrastructure, resources, information technology and education, and has main focus over vocational skills training in the backdrop of India`s need to train 500 million skilled labourers by 2022.

O`Farrell said that offered huge opportunities in the training and education sectors - in attracting overseas students and exporting teaching skills.

O`Farrell said that in NSW, training and further education (TAFE) was being unnecessarily hindered by federal student visa policies which were altered after a series of attacks on Indian students that exposed problems in the international education sector.

"We`re talking to the federal government. They need to relax the visa arrangements as much for reputable institutes like TAFE as they have for universities."

O`Farrell said he would visit India each year during his premiership.

The delegation would include the vice-chancellors of the University of NSW and Macquarie University, Fred Hilmer and Steven Schwartz, the chief executive of Sydney Airport, Kerrie Mather, the ANZ chairman, Warwick Smith, and representatives of Xstrata and BHP Billiton.

"The exponential growth of China and India meant the future was clearly in Asia, where there were great opportunities but only if people were exposed to them," he said.

PTI

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