Today I announce Australia’s new South Asia Regional Infrastructure Connectivity initiative (SARIC).
Connectivity and interlinked markets are fundamental to South Asia’s future growth trajectory and development.
SARIC’s first phase, worth $25 million over four years from July 2019, will focus on raising the quality of investment in regional energy and transport infrastructure.
Under the program Australia will fund the preparation of regional investment plans for these sectors.
SARIC will also help South Asian governments develop high-quality infrastructure projects to attract private sector or multilateral development bank finance.
The program will make Australian infrastructure expertise available to the region in engineering, construction, finance, public policy and law.
The announcement was made during my speech to the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, which outlined Australia’s commitment to the Indian Ocean region.
SARIC builds on Australia’s longstanding investment in South Asian infrastructure and trade facilitation, and our well-earned reputation for innovation in infrastructure policy, including asset recycling and public-private partnerships.
Australia’s investment in SARIC reflects the increasing importance of South Asia in the global economy, and the potential for Australian expertise and enterprise to contribute to the region’s growth.