Speech at Knowledge Partnership Roundtable
Topics: Education opportunities in India

Simon Birmingham: Thank you very much, Craig, for that welcome. I’m not quite sure that I’m delivering you a presentation today. I was to deliver you a few welcoming remarks prior to the signing of the MOUs just to head the day off. Sadly, though we were almost running to schedule, I think I’m blaming the Prime Minister Modi for leaving me stuck in a traffic jam. And I’ll be sure to convey that to him later but, Craig, thank you very much for facilitating today and this really important and valuable discussion that is occurring today as a complement to all of the activities that are occurring over the next couple of days around the visit of Prime Minister Turnbull and my own visit here to India. The first visit for both of us in our respective capacities as prime minister and minister for education and training but obviously a real sign from Prime Minister Turnbull – the focus with which he and our government puts on education and training as being at the centre of developing and enhancing Australia’s relationship with India and in building and strengthening it further into the future.

And the theme of your discussions today – the Knowledge Partnership Roundtable – is such an incredible thing for encapsulating very concisely where we are at, the opportunities we have and the focus that we seek to bring to our discussions with India. We do view this very much as a partnership. It’s built upon, strengthened, to ensure that it is mutually beneficial to both of our nations that the connections that have been forged between Australian universities, education and training institutions, Indian education and training institutions, businesses in both our nations are all of them connections that of course enrich the lives and opportunities in both of our countries.

The three things that you are working on here today cross paradigm research, entrepreneurship and mobility are critically important things that the Government wants to help embed further. And your discussions today will be [indistinct] enabling me and my officials to continue our work, in our deliberations and discussions with Indian officials to make sure we have that two way mobility of students, researchers, academics and leaders across industry and training. That we enhance the outcomes from those research undertakings to ensure that they drive entrepreneurial activity across both of our nations and business collaboration. All of it, of course, giving rise ultimately to greater employment, enhanced living conditions, enhanced opportunities in both countries.

We are very pleased to see the strength, breadth and range of memoranda of understandings that were entered into earlier this morning and in doing that to see that it continues a trend of focussing across a range of different disciplines and areas that are central to lives and opportunities in both countries, whether it be agriculture, healthcare, energy, different fields but importantly fields that of course really do elevate the advancement of knowledge and the development of business lifestyles and opportunities in our two countries.

I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to be here to hear a couple of the presentations that I had hoped to be able to do so. But I certainly, Craig, will put it to you to give me a full debriefing of today’s discussions and deliberations. And importantly I gather many of you are joining us, probably all of you are joining us along with around 300 of our other close personal friends for tonight’s knowledge partnership dinner and that will be a real opportunity which I, the Prime Minister, as well as leaders of government in India will have a chance to explore in some greater depth how we see the building of knowledge partnership between our two nations continuing into the future.

So thank you very much, this is a discussion and engagement that I’m pleased to see so many leaders from Australia and from India engaged in in a mutual way that can only take what is a very strong and rich partnership already and make it even more successful in the future. So good luck with your deliberations, thank you and I look forward to hearing at least much more of them at the end of the day.


Unidentified Speaker: Alright well could I ask members of the [indistinct] to retake the stage and thank Mr Birmingham profusely for a really inspiring presentation.

Minister Birmingham’s media contact: James Murphy 0478 333 974
Nick Creevey 0447 664 957