While it is true that India is not just another China, there is a good risk management case for improving Australia’s trade and diplomatic relations with India.
To give energy to this relationship, Australia should take eight urgent steps:
(Keep in mind most of this relates to “post-Covid” but some could action now)
First, we should be flat out campaigning to get more Indian tourists down under. They now have the money, and a campaign for tourism would also communicate our culture to the broader Indian public. Let’s get Australia on the billboards, on the cable TV and in the cinemas in India.
Second, encourage Bollywood to make more films down under and help them show the diversity of the Australian population and culture.
Third, reinforce our intellectual property and leadership in the twin areas of high demand over there – health and education.
Fourth, take more initiatives to exchange knowledge and services in the waste management and waste disposal fields – we are pretty good in this, with some of the cleanest cities in the world, and India is worried that rubbish is taking over their country.
Fifth, create ways we can work closer on sustainable energy.
Sixth, make sure Indians are aware of our global leadership in fields such as wealth management, a growing need over there. The best way to do this would be to increase our investment into India.
Seventh, provide cultural training to Australians in all fields who are to visit India, so that our blundering around (which we often see as down to earth and friendly) does not continue to cause offence or confusion among our hosts.