India was Australia’s 9th largest trading partner in 2016. Total merchandise trade (imports + exports) totalled A$15.5b in 2016. Australian exports to India were made up predominantly of coal, vegetables and wheat. Imports were made up of refined petroleum and medicines.
There were over 78,000 Indian student enrolments in 2016, 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 260,000 visitors from India in 2016, up 11% from a year earlier.
The stock of Australian investment in India is relatively small — A$13b in 2015 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$594b) and UK (A$353b) remain the leading destinations for Australia’s foreign investment.
The stock of Indian investment in Australia is also small — around A$11.6b in 2015, or 0.4% of total. Indian investment in Australia comprises of mainly tech-companies, such as, Mahindra Aerospace, Dexler and Servion Global Solutions.