India was Australia’s 5th largest trading partner in 2017 with total trade worth A$27.5b. Australian exports of goods and services were worth A$20b. Goods exports to India were made up predominantly of coal, copper, gold and vegetables. Imports were made up of refined petroleum and medicines.
Education accounted for the majority of the A$4.9b of service exports to India. There were over 87,000 Indian student enrolments in 2017, the second largest behind China. Indian student enrolments have been increasing significantly since the early 2000’s. This is mainly due to the lack of adequate schooling opportunities in India; former Indian students sharing a positive experience; a huge latent demand among Indians looking to go to universities abroad and Australian government’s streamlining of the student visa process.
India is also an important source of tourists. There were close to 300,000 visitors from India in 2017, up 15.4% from a year earlier.
The stock of Australian investment in India is relatively small — A$14b in 2017 or 0.5% of total Australian investment abroad. Australian mining firms such as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, and engineering firms such as Snowy Mountain Engineering and Leighton Holdings have large operations in India. But the US (A$664b) and UK (A$333b) remain the leading destinations for Australia’s foreign investment.
The stock of Indian investment in Australia is also small — around A$15.4b in 2017, or 0.5% of total. Indian investment in Australia comprises of mainly tech-companies, such as, Mahindra Aerospace, Dexler and Servion Global Solutions.