New trade and investment appointments to get India’s eyes on SA

Two India-based appointments have been made to spruik South Australian trade and investment to its fourth-largest export market.

May 27, 2024, updated May 27, 2024
Priya Pankaj will represent South Australian trade and investment interests in Mumbai, India. Photo: Unsplash.

Priya Pankaj will represent South Australian trade and investment interests in Mumbai, India. Photo: Unsplash.

To be based in Chennai and Mumbai respectively, Kamran Khan and Priya Pankaj have been appointed in-country directors for SA trade and investment in India.

Trade and investment minister Joe Szakacs said the new appointees have been tasked with leading export growth and facilitating and securing foreign direct investment into SA from India – the state’s fourth largest export market valued at $1.1 billion in the year to March 2024.

Szakacs said the two appointees would establish business connections and take advantage of the Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA).

“Our trade partnership with India is going from strength to strength – now our fourth biggest export market,” he said.

“The Malinauskas Government is committed to capitalising on our state’s strengths, which is why these appointments are so important in helping to facilitate further export growth and foreign investment.

“Having senior representation in both Mumbai and Chennai will be invaluable in ensuring SA exporters can advance future business opportunities and further grow our economy.”

Khan – appointed Senior Director; India by the state government, has been working at the Australian Trade and investment Commission in India since 2010.

Most recently, he held the position of senior director and regional lead, infrastructure for South Asia, supporting Australian companies to crack into the region.

Pankaj was appointed as Director; India, and has previously held positions with multinational corporations like Citi Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and HDFC Bank. Most recently, she was senior investment adviser and lead – environment, energy and infrastructure at the British High Commission.

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Khan said South Australia was well-positioned to complement India’s continued growth, specifically “through the current exports of lentils, wheat and coal, and by diversifying into the new and emerging sectors of energy, space and technology”.

“I see strong potential for South Australia and India to work together in the defence, aerospace and advanced manufacturing, resources and energy, food, wine and agribusiness and water and environment management,” Khan said.

“The future looks bright, and I am ambitious for South Australian businesses to do more with India. We are presently in a very exciting time in the India-Australia relations, underpinned by a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between our two countries.”

Pankaj said she was excited to facilitate collaborations across sectors including “technology, food and wine, renewable energy, space and defence and health”.

“I am eager to work towards enhancing the visibility of South Australia in India and vice versa, thereby creating mutually beneficial partnerships that drive economic growth and innovation,” she said.

“I look forward to engaging with key stakeholders, building strategic alliances and contributing to the overall advancement of both regions.”

The state government said Indian investment into South Australia was on the rise, and would be supported by the AI-ECTA.

“Kamran and Priya’s combined knowledge and understanding of both the Indian and Australian business environment will support companies to take advantage of the new bilateral trade agreement between our two countries,” Szakacs said.

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