Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 12: Holding that it is the most opportune time to build mutual partnerships between Kerala and Northern Territory (NT) Government of Australia, the Deputy Chief Minister of NT Government of Australia, Nicole Manison said her government will now sign an MoU with Kerala on collaborations in trade and other key sectors.
Manison, who is leading the delegation to the state, revealed this during an interaction with higher officials of various departments, including the Department of Industries and Commerce, among others here on Wednesday evening.
He is on a visit to Kerala leading a 16-member business delegation to explore the possibility of bringing investment to the state commensurating with mutual growth and to identify the priority sectors which propel mutual growth.
Manison, who is also the Minister for Trade of Northern Territory, Australia, said globally trade relations are built with nations and places where mutual partnerships benefit both sides.
"Kerala has an amazing dynamic community living in NT and they contribute significantly to the economy through investments. There is a real brooding relationship of trust, belief and opportunity with Kerala. We have so much to learn from the state in education, training and other sectors," said Manison.
She added that it's a great opportunity for both sides to help each other by developing business partnerships in areas like chemicals, minerals and renewable energy.
Elaborating on the opportunities in healthcare sector in NT, which has a total population of 2,50,000, Manison said that the state has some of the best healthcare professionals in the world and it is also produces the best health workforce in the world.
The delegation from Kerala led by Suman Billa, MD of state-run KSIDC, said the NT delegation had a fruitful round of discussions with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan regarding several areas of cooperation, investments, industrial and technical collaborations, besides talent mobility especially in the areas of healthcare.
Noting that NT is a powerhouse of resources, Billa added that the Australian state has most of the critical minerals in abundance and plenty of potential for renewable solar energy and green hydrogen.
Commenting that tie-up with NT will be an opportunity for MSMEs in the state, Sarah Kirlew, Consul General, Australian Consulate in Chennai, said NT's relation with Kerala started in 2017 and the consistent engagement by both sides will help them explore more areas.
Kirlew added that of the one million people of Indian origin living in the country, 80,000 of those speak Malayalam, indicating that people from Kerala is the third largest Indian community in Australia catering to the country's growth.