India and Australia intend to strengthen economic and defense ties

Anthony Albanese’s visit is the first by an Australian prime minister since 2017. (File)

New Delhi:

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese arrived in India today, seeking to cement a new momentum in ties between the two countries by deepening trade, investment and defense ties.

Anthony Albanese’s three-day visit, the first by an Australian prime minister since 2017, comes days before a visit by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, another member of the so-called “Quarter” group that seeks to counter China’s growing dominance in India. – Pacific region.

In addition to Australia and Japan, the Quad includes the United States and India. Australia is due to host the Quad leaders’ summit in Sydney later this year.

“India and Australia enjoy warm and friendly relations based on shared values ​​and democratic principles. The strategic partnership between the two countries has been upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership in June 2020,” the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement ahead of the visit.

“Prime Minister Albanese’s visit is expected to give further impetus to the comprehensive strategic partnership.”

Speaking in Sydney on Tuesday, Anthony Albanese said Australia wanted “diversity in our trade and diversity in our trade, which means our economy is more resilient and secure”.

Last year, the two countries signed a free trade agreement called the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), the first India has signed with a developed country in a decade.

This resulted in the immediate reduction of customs duties on 96% of Indian exports to Australia by value and zero customs duties on 85% of Australian exports to India.

However, a more comprehensive comprehensive economic cooperation agreement has been stalled in negotiations for more than a decade. Discussions began in 2011 but were suspended in 2016 due to a deadlock in negotiations.

Negotiations resumed in 2021, but a deal still remains elusive. Australian Trade and Tourism Minister Don Farrell will be part of Albane’s delegation and the visit is expected to accelerate the ambitious deal.

Bilateral trade is expected to reach $27.5 billion in 2021, and India says it has the potential to almost double to $50 billion within five years under ECTA.


The Albanian will begin his visit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hometown of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, where the two leaders will watch the opening of the fourth and final cricket Test match between the two countries and engage in cricket diplomacy. Prime Minister Modi.

He will then fly to Mumbai, where he will become the first foreign leader to board India’s indigenously built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant on Thursday. The aircraft was commissioned into the Indian Navy in September.

The Alban-Modi talks in New Delhi on Friday will be the first meeting of the annual summit the two countries announced last year.

Trade, investment, defence, education and the supply chain of essential minerals are important aspects of the relationship between the two countries, said former Indian High Commissioner to Australia Navdeep Suri.

A business delegation traveling with the Albanians will attend the Australia-India CEO Forum, which Suri encouraged.

“It’s not just about a free trade agreement, it’s about investment. Australian companies, I think, are shy about investing in India. The same applies to Australia’s superannuation funds,” he said.

Suri said this relationship is also important in the context of the Quad.

Last week, the foreign ministers of the Quartet met in Delhi and condemned the escalation of tensions in the South and East China Seas and the militarization of disputed territories in the region, without naming China.

The four navies will come together in August for the annual Malabar naval exercise, hosted by Australia for the first time.

“Square emerges as a very important voice to counter the threat we now perceive,” Suri said. “If we are to reduce our and the world’s dependence on China, working together will be essential.”

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published on a syndicated channel.)

Featured image of the day

Nirmala Sitharaman, the US Treasury Secretary met in Bengaluru ahead of the G20 meeting

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