Queensland-based road builder Global Road Technology (GRT) is reaping international recognition for its efforts to improve the lives of people in the communities in which it works.

At the invitation of the Federal Government, Global Road Technology Director Ben Skinner last week participated in the Transport Road Safety Programme stream of Australia Business Week in India. Mr Skinner accompanied other leading Australian business executives on the Austrade mission led by the Federal Minister for Trade and Investment Mr Andrew Robb MP.

According to Mr Skinner s GRT made valuable connections and contacts throughout the conference that would both enable it to collaborate on its Road Safety Initiative (RSI), and to achieve further growth in the country for the leading infrastructure firm. “We are currently working with the private and public sector in India as they seek to utilise GRT technology to build and develop the countries infrastructure to help the economy continue to grow and lift the populations standard of living,” Mr Skinner said.

“The RSI is a key platform of GRT’s operations as it seeks to improve road safety outcomes in the communities it works in. 2014 saw GRT implement its Road Safety Initiative (RSI) in India, in conjunction with local State authorities.

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GRT is working on thousands of kilometres worth of infrastructure projects in two of India’s largest states, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra and we see the RSI as a major component of our work in the country as our business seeks to make a positive impact there.”

In India, GRT saw an opportunity to work with the local and State governments there and combine their efforts with the aim of decreasing the country’s alarming road death and injuries. India accounts for more than 10 per cent of global road fatalities although it has just over 1 percent of the world’s vehicle population.

Last Friday GRT had the opportunity to showcase its Road Safety Initiative at the International Road Federation Conference in New Delhi, which was held in conjunction with Australia Business Week in Inda. The conference was also attended by Australia’s Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs and India’s Minister of Road Traffic Highway Authority Mr Dadkari. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the International Road Federation and Australia. “One of the highlights of the week was a visit to the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) and the Institute of Road Traffic Education,” Mr Skinner said. “At the CRRI, engineers were keen to explore new road safety, pavement design and stabilisation technology and expressed a high interest in collaborating with GRT on its proprietary stabilisation technology.” The ITRE is a not-for-profit interactive training centre for road safety and education, the first of its kind in India.

Chairman Dr Rohit Baluja, detailed the inherent challenges in dealing with road safety in India, saying the problem was endemic across all stakeholders from lawmakers and policy makers, through to engineers and road users. Unfortunately, the centre requires funding for growth and penetration into the wider Indian road-user market.

Dr Baluja expressed a desire to collaborate with GRT on its road safety initiative, which has been endorsed by the World Bank. The International Road Federation has invited the company to join as a part of a combined partnership, too. Mr Skinner said Australia Business Week in India was a clear demonstration of the current economic commitment between the two countries, a sentiment shared by the Federal Minister for Trade and Investment, Mr Andrew Robb.

Mr Robb said “real commercial outcomes” were the focus of Australia Business Week in India which was staged across several key cities including New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chandigarh.

The weeklong program was designed to highlight opportunities in key sectors including resources and energy, infrastructure, agribusiness, sustainability, health, tourism, education and training. “India is an emerging economy that is already a significant investor in Australia and our fifth-largest export market,” Mr Robb said. “With a new Indian Government committed to modernisation and economic growth expected to reach 5.4 per cent in 2014-2015, it is a country that has so many untapped opportunities,” he said.

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