I want to acknowledge the traditional owner of the land on which we stand today and pay my respect to their elders and their past and present. Premier Campbell Newman, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and Friends,
Thank you very much for hosting this Reception. I am delighted to be present at this function. Congratulations to Brisbane for being such a wonderful host to G20. You did an outstanding job. I know that you have often lived in the shadow of Melbourne and Sydney. This week you have shown the world what a great city and host you are.
Today, I have started my bilateral visit to Australia and, I am pleased that it has begun here. Queensland is at the forefront of relations between India and Australia.
Earlier today, I had the privilege to unveil a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Brisbane. This has added a special bond of emotion between us. This is a symbol of the values that we share; the ideals we aspire to; and, the world we wish to build. The credit for this strong partnership between India and Queensland goes to you, Premier Newman and Lord Mayor.
Your missions to India have been very productive and brought our businesses and our people closer. Several Queensland business delegations are visiting India this year. Queensland has emerged as a major source of key resources to power India`s growth development. It is also a major destination of Indian investments. You have supported partnership in education and skills.
Queensland`s universities and research institutions are collaborating closely with India. They have used the opportunities provided by Australia-India Strategic Research Fund well.
I went to Queensland University the other day and met some of your scientists and academics. The joint research we are doing will help our farmers, especially in dry areas, and contribute to food security in India. Queensland`s fruits and vegetables are really good. There is a lot of potential for us to work together.
I am joined on this visit by a delegation of business and academic leaders from India, who are forging strong partnerships with Australia and especially with Queensland.
I am grateful to you for looking after the Indian community of nearly 100,000. Some have been here for generations, some have come more recently. But, they are really happy here. They are the bridge of friendship and understanding between us.
We can also learn and gain a lot from each other in tourism. Lord Mayor, Brisbane has emerged as centre of advanced technology; at the same time Hyderabad is also known as Cyberabad. It is natural that the two cities have a sister-city relationship. I truly welcome the engagement between states and cities. Relations between countries can prosper fully only if we bring our states and cities together.
That is why I am also very keen to involve states in India in our international engagements.
Friends, This is an exciting moment in India. A moment filled with optimism; a desire for change and progress; and the confidence to achieve it. Driven by the energy and the enterprise of our youth. This is a time to forge partnerships in India. You will find a welcoming environment that not only makes it possible, but also easy and smooth.
Here in Brisbane and at this Reception, I feel the sentiment of friendship between our people and the promise of a strong partnership in the years ahead.
I want to thank you once again for the warmth of your welcome and your hospitality.