Holding that it is the most suitable time to build mutual partnerships between Kerala and the Northern Territory (NT) Government of Australia, the Deputy Chief Minister of the NT Government of Australia, Nicole Manison, said her government will now sign an MoU with the State on collaborations in trade and other key sectors.

Manison, who is leading the delegation to the State, revealed this during an interaction with higher officials of various departments, including the Department of Industries and Commerce.

She is visiting Kerala leading a 16-member business delegation to explore the possibility of bringing investment to the State commensurate with mutual growth and to identify the priority sectors which propel mutual growth.

Principal Secretary (Industries) Suman Billa and MD, KSIDC and Director, DIC, S Harikishore, were present.

Manison, also the Minister for Trade of Northern Territory, Australia, said trade relations are built globally with nations and places where mutual partnerships benefit both sides.

“Kerala has an amazing dynamic community living in NT and they contribute significantly to the economy through investments. There is a real brooding relationship of trust, belief and opportunity with Kerala. We have so much to learn from the state in education, training and other sectors,” she said.

She said it is a great opportunity for both sides to help develop business partnerships in areas like chemicals, minerals and renewable energy.

Elaborating on the opportunities in the healthcare sector in NT, which has a total population of 2,50,000, Manison said the State has some of the best healthcare professionals in the world and is also producing the best health workforce in the world.

The delegation from Kerala led by Suman Billa said the NT delegation had a fruitful round of discussions with the Chief Minister, Industries Minister and Health Minister regarding several areas of cooperation, investments, industrial and technical collaborations, besides talent mobility, especially in healthcare.

Noting that NT is a powerhouse of resources, Billa said the Australian state has most of the critical minerals in abundance and plenty of potential for renewable solar energy and green hydrogen.

Commenting that a tie-up with NT will be an opportunity for MSMEs in the State, Sarah Kirlew, Consul General, Australian Consulate in Chennai, said NT’s relation with Kerala started in 2017, and the consistent engagement by both sides will help them explore more areas.