The Indian High Commissioner, Dr Ajay Gondane, and Mrs Varsha Gondane have arrived in the Bundaberg Region for a two-day visit after being invited by Mayor Jack Dempsey.
Mayor Dempsey said he wanted to showcase the region’s agriculture and ingenuity to the world’s second most populous country.
“It’s a priority for Council to promote a positive image of the Bundaberg Region within Australia and abroad to open new markets and attract investment,” he said.
“We’ve seen the success of our sister city relationship with Nanning create opportunities in China for local companies.
“By hosting the Indian High Commissioner we are introducing some of the Bundaberg Region’s innovative industries to a significant potential new market.”
Dr and Mrs Gondane will meet Councillors and tour sites including Hortus Technical Services, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, Macadamias Australia, Superior Pak and CQUniversity.
Mayor Dempsey said the issue of Indian sugar subsidies would be raised in a respectful and constructive way.
“By establishing dialogue with the representative in Australia of India’s Government I will convey the views of Bundaberg Region canegrowers,” he said.
Forging international links to boost trade
The Mayor said he has invited several Ambassadors and High Commissioners to the Bundaberg Region as part of a strategy to boost trade.
“I’m delighted the first diplomat to visit under this initiative is from India,” he said.
“There is a big Indian community in the Bundaberg Region and huge potential for closer links.”
Dr Gondane joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1985. He has worked in various capacities in Indian Embassies and Consulates including Damascus, Baghdad, Vienna, Ankara and New York.
He was previously High Commissioner of India to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.