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  • Writer's pictureMo Zaatar

India and Australia: A story of true partnership

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

india and australia partnership

Indians have a long and proud history of travelling the world and then bringing something of that experience and good fortune back to their homeland.

This is true in Australia, too. In Hindi (the main language in India), “bless” translates to “ashirvad”, which is a ceremony to give a blessing. This is a word with real religious and spiritual meaning to the Indians. Wishing the best for those around you is a way of connecting you to your community, and this mindset is one of the reasons that India is actually the largest recipient of blessings from migrants globally (and #2 behind China for Australia in particular). Thanks to this spirit of goodwill, Australian money funds some truly incredible things over there.

Why migrants send money home to India

One of the biggest reasons that Indians send money back to India is to support their family and friends. But it’s not the only reason. Indians will often use the money they earn in Australia to pay back loans, invest in businesses and other opportunities back home.

A big part of this is the NRE – Non-Resident External accounts. This is a savings account which Indian migrants can invest their foreign incomes into and park their money for when they return (or provide access to the account to their families or representatives in India). It provides them with a good (and tax-free) interest rate, allowing them to accumulate a good level of savings, and makes a future return home quite easy.

Whether it’s depositing money into the NRE, or providing it to family, friends or business partners, the frequency with which Indian expats want to send blessings home has helped to make it a relatively easy process. You still want to find a provider that can help make the transfers quickly and at a low cost, but with the right provider, this can be a pain-free experience.

Australian money is worth a lot in India

Consider this:

The average annual salary in India varies, but amongst white-collar workers, it is 383,000 INR (AUD $7,160). In Australia, it’s about AUD $72,746 which based on the current conversion rate is 3,827,301 INR - ten times the average annual salary in India!

Australians do pay more for things (according to the famous “Big Mac Index,” a Big Mac in Australia is the equivalent of $5 US, while in India it’s $2.50 US), but at the same time apartments and houses in India will often cost the equivalent of just one or two year’s work in Australia. For someone who is considering returning to settle down, building up a pool of savings in Australian money, and having it secure in bank accounts back in India, is an appealing pathway to home ownership and comfort.

The positive value of Australian money in India helps in other areas, too. Good education in India can cost as much as 3,000,000 IND, which is well beyond the typical Indian income, but much more achievable with support from blessings out of Australia.

India also doesn’t have a universal healthcare system, and surgeries can run into a few million IND for important quality-of-life procedures. With blessings from Australia, it’s possible to fund health procedures that simply wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

Blessings from nations like Australia have a huge role to play in supporting Indian communities and the broader economy. It’s also a nation where large and small blessings can have a measurable and immediate impact back in the homeland.

And what does Australia gain in return?

Indian migrants have contributed an immeasurable amount to the fabric of Australian society. At a time when Australia struggles with a deep skills crisis in technology and engineering fields, India’s world-renowned capabilities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education here have helped organisations of all sizes take advantage of technology to grow and compete.

Socially, what would Australian cities be without the ability to go out and enjoy a good curry? Whether it’s a firey, spicy dish, a sweet lassi, or tasty, chewy naan, Australians love Indian cuisine, and it's one of our most consumed “foreign” meal options.

The Indian diaspora in Australia has produced everything from our most beloved celebrities (Priya Serrao represented Australia at the Miss Universe 2019 pageant, while also holding a law degree and being one of our greatest advocates for diversity and representation in the Australian media landscape) to our leading doctors (Dr. Shamsher Rawther is world-renowned for his contributions to the field of orthopedics).

Australia would not be the vibrant place it is without the large and wonderful Indian migrant community. In return, blessings from Australia continue to provide opportunity and prosperity in India. It is a truly symbiotic relationship and a standard-bearer for successful multiculturalism worldwide.


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