GUWAHATI, May 27 � Australian High Commissioner to India Patrick Suckling today said Indo-Australian bilateral ties were on an upswing of late, and that the North-east could also reap rich dividends out of the growing mutual engagements.
Suckling, who is on a tour to the north-eastern states of Assam, Meghalaya and Manipur, said the North-east had immense but untapped potential in sectors such as water resources, agriculture and forestry, tourism and education, and that a range of mutually beneficial pursuits could be explored.
�I am here to look into the possibilities that the region holds in terms of gainful ventures for both. Tourism is definitely one such area as are water resource management and agriculture and allied activities. Education, too, is another sector which has already seen some bilateral activities,� he said during an interaction with a select group of journalists.
The Australian envoy revealed that Australian investment in India worth $10 billion was in the pipeline and that the North-east would also figure prominently in it, provided the ambience was conducive and the state governments exhibited pro-activeness.
Suckling said Australia was ready to offer its expertise to the North-east for management of sectors such as water resource management, tourism, agriculture and education.
He added that for attracting foreign investment, the North-east also needed to work on building connectivity, power supply, etc. �Creating and connecting transport hubs, creating second-tier cities, ought to be a priority with the North-east. Even in these areas we can offer our expertise,� he said.
Suckling said that with India�s �Act East Policy� now broadening its focus and objectives to include the entire Asia-Pacific region, Australia would be eager to enhance its role in bilateral activities with the North-east.
On a broader context, Suckling said that energy, agriculture, education and infrastructure were the key areas that would engage both Australia and India in the days ahead.