Gitesh Agarwal, Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – IndiaA festive-season chat with Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – India, Gitesh Agarwal

How is the festive season celebrated in India? Christmas and New Year are celebrated with great participation from almost the entire country. The major cities wear red and Santa caps can be seen at almost every traffic signal. There is music, festive décor, big sales of everything money can buy! There are kids singing carols and you can hear music everywhere.

What have been some standout achievements for TIQ India in 2018? The most recent has been an excellent visit by Minister Kate Jones to release Queensland’s first-ever country-specific strategy, the Queensland-India Trade and Investment Strategy.

Earlier in the year, we were able to profile Queensland’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games, and a 15-member delegation as well as the Minister of Sport from the Gujarat Government were hosted at the Gold Coast.

What are you most looking forward to in 2019? We are looking forward to setting the milestones for the Queensland-India Strategy to start working on the long-term delivery. Also, India is going to be in federal election mode and, given some recent results across 3 heartland states, the election promises to be an edge-of-the-seat thriller.

Any new year’s message you’d like to share with Queensland exporters? Absolutely. Queensland owns more than 60% of the Australian trade with India. Queensland is a key partner, collaborator and supporter of India’s aspirations in energy, infrastructure, food, education, skills, and health. We should build on that and position ourselves as the ‘go-to’ state as India continues its economic march.

I am also a firm believer that there is a strong opportunity for an ‘innovation bridge’ between India and Queensland, as the young people of both geographies are aiming to disrupt the world with tech solutions to global challenges. And there is money on both sides, which is more than willing to give roots and wings to such ideas and creativity.

TIQ’s India office would love to help any exporter or investor interested in connecting.