Joint Remarks of Mr Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia with Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy , Parliament House, Canberra , on 10th February ,2016
The following is the transcript of Joint Remarks of Mr Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia with Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy , Parliament House, Canberra , on 10th February ,2016.
“JOSH FRYDENBERG: I warmly welcome Minister Goyal and his delegation to Australia. The Minister has had a nearly 30 year career in politics after a distinguished career in investment banking and having been on the board of the State Bank of India. As the Minister for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy, he has an important function within the Indian Government but also within global energy markets. Minister, as you know, Australia is a major player in global energy markets. We have just become the world’s largest exporter of thermal coal and we will be the world’s largest exporter of LNG, overtaking Qatar by 2020.
India is a major player in the global energy markets, too, being the world’s third largest consumer of energy. I was interested to read how energy demand has doubled in your country since 2000 and by some predictions will quadruple over the coming decade and it was very interesting to read how you’re going to strengthen your commitment to renewable energy, quadrupling the amount of energy from that source by 2022.
So, today Minister Goyal and I will participate in the third Australia-India Energy Security Dialogue. It was started by Minister Hegde from India and Minister Fischer from Australia back in 2000. It’s a very important opportunity to strengthen the bilateral ties between our two countries.
We have $15 billion worth of annual two-way trade, we export some $5 billion worth of coal to India, and I was very pleased to see that we’ve just signed our first export contract of LNG to India from the Gorgon project. So, I think there’s a lot that our two countries can do together – exchanging information on renewable energy, exporting the many resources we have and helping the Indian economy go from strength to strength.
I very warmly welcome you.
PIYUSH GOYAL: Thank you very much, Minister Frydenberg. It’s indeed a pleasure to meet you and see the enthusiasm that I saw in Australian business in the last two days also reflected in your initial opening remarks. In fact, your own career in some sense reflected a little bit of what I have been doing, you’ve worked with Deutsche Bank, have a very illustrious background, and in fact I come from Mumbai and your university has now tied up with IIT Bombay to set up a centre of excellence. So, in some sense I feel very close to you and I do see India and Australia working together, particularly after the very successful engagement that Prime Minister Modi had with your Government, both in India and in Australia.
Going forward, I think energy is going to be the defining feature of our relationship, particularly since you have already played an important role in providing adequate supplies to our coal based thermal plants. We are now looking at increased engagement on uranium, gas is going to be the next enabler for cleaner technology for our power production. In my mind, the last two days and what I have seen in terms of the work that Australia has done in renewable energy, I was amazed you started talking about renewables and researching way back in 1974 at the New South Wales University. It really reflects a deep understanding of the future, the fact that the university set up a school of excellence in photovoltaics.
But if you look at the overall perspective, I think across the value chain in energy, be it coal or gas, be it the renewable energy sector, be it smart grids or the ability to bring in more efficiency in our energy systems, the integration of renewables with the power transmission grid, there are many areas that I believe we can work together with Australia on.
My own experiences of Australia have been very delightful. I first came here 10 years ago as a tourist and loved every moment of it. In fact, that’s the last time I drove a car because it was so much fun driving in Australia! Of course, as I said on an earlier occasion, on a lighter note, I paid a lot of speeding fines after I went back home, but I paid them all so that they didn’t stop me at Immigration when I come the next time!
But, I also was the Minister waiting for the Honourable Prime Minister when he came to India in September of 2014 and found that bubbling enthusiasm of the Australians reflected in the way we discussed and worked through that visit. I’m looking forward to a similar engagement with you, Minister, with the Government of the day, and I have no doubt in my mind that if Australian innovation and Indian skills and manpower work together we could create a partnership which can transcend the normal engagement levels and take it to a much deeper working relationship, partnership, friendship, cooperation. We can use all sorts of terms, but I think both Australia and India can share common interests. As we take power – and affordable power – to all our people, Australia will become a partner in our activities.
FRYDENBERG: Absolutely, and we’ll continue to play some good cricket together, too!
GOYAL: In fact Australia always was known for the cricket that it fought for all these years and it’s also in fact helped us create some of the best relationships!
GOYAL: But let’s see if we can play the energy game equally well together.
FRYDENBERG: Well we’re up for that, so thank you very much and you’re warmly welcomed here in Australia.
GOYAL: Thank you very much.”