06 August 2020

Key insights

  • India – Austrade and Amazon India promoted more than 35 Australian brands during an Amazon Prime Day sale on August 6–7. Brand launches include Smiggle and Cygnett, while social media will support brands such as Swisse, Capilano, San Remo and others. The ‘Prime Day’ terms ensure brands will be delivered to 40 major cities within two days. E-commerce platforms are becoming an attractive entry route for Australian FMCG brands selling to India.
  • Bangladesh – Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves exceeded the US$37 billion mark for the first time on 27 July 2020 as the inflow of remittances reached a record US$2.24 billion in the first 27 days of July. Lower imports of raw materials and consumer goods due to Covid-19 was also a factor.
  • Sri Lanka – A widening trade deficit, currency depreciation and the impact of COVID-19 has checked Sri Lanka’s growth prospects. Nevertheless, the World Health Organization has reported that Sri Lanka has been more successful at controlling the coronavirus than better-resourced countries, thanks to a well-organised public health and surveillance system.

Market opportunities

  • India – India has launched a clean milk-development initiative, which aims to increase procurement of milk by the organised sector to 55% (from 35%). The Indian Government has allocated A$3 billion for industry development in the private dairy sector. An official focus on technology and food safety presents opportunities for Australian dairy expertise.
  • India – Indian pharmaceuticals companies are showing renewed interest in conducting clinical trials in Australia.
  • India – Representative from India’s resources industry are confident that normal activity levels will resume shortly, leading to a resurgence in demand for overseas METS. In addition, recently announced auctions should lead to a spate of new projects. Reports suggest that Australian METS suppliers may improve their prospects by increasing support for Indian partners during the period of travel restrictions.
  • India – Reports say that India’s solar industry appears largely unaffected by the pandemic, although there have been supply issues from solar panel-manufacturing countries, and installation schedules have slipped a little.
  • India – Indian infrastructure companies continue to generate opportunities for international and Australian consultants in design, build, finance and operations – in particular in transport and urban infrastructure. One source says that Australian businesses looking to access opportunities in India should focus on tier-1 Indian cities, although partnerships with local companies is advisable.
  • India – Australian companies are winning contracts in India’s rail industry, including the new Mumbai–Ahmedabad high speed railway, which is currently under construction. This indicates an openness to Australian rail expertise and technology.
  • India – A new National Education Policy looks likely to deliver major reforms to university education. The changes will permit the establishment of foreign universities (from the top 100 in the world) and some recognition of qualifications / study units gained in foreign universities. Implementation will be at state level. This may provide more opportunities for Australian education institutions to attract Indian students into undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
  • India – Toppr, an Indian edtech company has secured a A$64 million contract to deliver services to India’s massive K–12 market. This indicates demand for new edtech services in India, which could provide a source of growth to Australian edtech companies.
  • India – India has accelerated its purchases of weapons in the wake of border tensions with China. For Australia, the Australia–India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership will help build connections with India’s defence sector and lays the foundation for enhanced collaboration and development. The Government’s ‘Make in India’ program will trigger a pivot towards more domestic manufacturing, however Austrade understands that around 30 per cent will still go to overseas suppliers for the foreseeable future. This should create opportunities for Australia –especially in technology and advanced manufacturing.

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