A new Memorandum of Understanding between NSW and Gujarat has come into effect after Mr Baird and the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Mrs Anandiben Patel, attended an official signing in Ahmedabad.
Mr Baird said the agreement concludes negotiations initiated by the NSW Government in 2013 and allows both states to share knowledge and expertise across five key areas.
“This historic agreement marks the start of a new chapter between NSW and Gujarat and outlines our mutual desire to share knowledge in the areas of education, skills development, water security, urban technology and sustainable urban development.
“Gujarat is undergoing a major urban transformation. There are plans to build eight cities across the state, which is home to 6.2 million mostly rural residents.
“Our cultural and historic connections to India place us in a fortunate position. We have an opportunity to share knowledge and learn from each other during this major development drive, which will in turn benefit both our state economies.
“The Gujarat International Finance Tec-City, which has similarities to Sydney’s financial and residential hub Barangaroo, is under construction in Ahmedabad.
“As part of the MOU, a delegation of planning experts from UrbanGrowth and the Barangaroo Delivery Authority will travel to Gujarat to provide insights into sustainable urban planning to the Indian state as it grows and develops.
“We also have much to learn from how Gujarat is meeting the challenges of its urban growth, and this MOU provides the basis for knowledge and information sharing.
“Education is NSW’s biggest services export and India is NSW’s third largest source of international students. As of September 2014, there were more than 12,000 Indian students enrolled in NSW tertiary institutions.
“This agreement will open pathways for a two-way exchange of students between NSW and Gujarat to give students a global experience and grow networks between our states.
“Water security and clean technology are also increasing areas of concern across India and as part of our partnership with Gujarat we’ll share expertise to assist with waste water treatment and recycling.
“Today marks the start of a new relationship that builds on our cultural connections and strengthens cooperation to grow our economies into the future,” Mr Baird said.