Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the bilateral talks with “dear friend” Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese, along with various engagements such as a historic community program, meetings with business leaders held in Sydney on Wednesday have been crucial in strengthening the friendship between India and Australia.
In a tweet, PM Modi said, “From productive talks with Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese to a historic community programme, from meeting business leaders to eminent Australians from different walks of life, it’s been an important visit which will boost the friendship between India and Australia,” PM Modi said in a tweet.
I thank the people of Australia, the Australian Government and my dear friend @AlboMP for their hospitality. We will keep working towards a vibrant India-Australia friendship, which is also in the interest of global good.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 24, 2023
Prime Minister Modi extended his gratitude to the people and the Australian Government for the hospitality and said, “I thank the people of Australia, the Australian Government and my dear friend @AlboMP for their hospitality. We will keep working towards a vibrant India-Australia friendship, which is also in the interest of global good.”
Before the bilateral meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a ceremonial guard of honor at Admiralty House in Sydney, setting the stage for discussions with Albanese.
In his media statement, PM Modi highlighted the foundation of the bilateral relations, emphasising “mutual trust and respect” and describing the Indian community in Australia as a “living bridge” between the two nations.
During the meeting, PM Modi raised concerns regarding attacks on temples and the activities of pro-Khalistani elements in Australia. “We will not accept any elements that harm the friendly and warm ties between India and Australia by their actions or thoughts. I thank the prime minister for the actions that have already been taken. Prime Minister Albanese has once again assured me today that he will take strict actions against such elements in the future also,” Modi said.
Employing a cricket analogy, PM Modi depicted the rapidly expanding India-Australia ties as having entered the “T-20 mode.” “In the language of cricket, our ties have reached the T20 mode,” Modi said. “The India-Australia friendship is a special one.” He extended an invitation to Prime Minister Albanese and Australian cricket fans to visit India for the upcoming Cricket World Cup tournament.
Describing the meeting as “constructive,” PM Modi expressed the intention to elevate the Australia-India comprehensive strategic partnership to greater heights in the coming decade. “Last year, the India-Australia economic cooperation and trade agreement came into effect. Today, we have decided to focus on a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA). This will further strengthen our economic partnership and open up new avenues for cooperation,” he said.
Meanwhile, PM Albanese said the government aims to conclude the CECA by the end of the year.
Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to an open, prosperous, and secure Indo-Pacific region. Discussions also encompassed strategic cooperation in mining, critical minerals, renewable energy, and other sectors.
PM Modi stressed on the potential for India-Australia cooperation to benefit the growth of the Global South and the central theme of India’s G20 presidency, which embodies the idea of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (the world is one family).
Prime Minister Albanese announced the establishment of a new Australian Consulate-General in Bengaluru, primarily to facilitate connections between Australian businesses and India’s flourishing digital economy and innovation ecosystem.
The roundtable with business leaders in Sydney provided an opportunity for Prime Minister Modi to invite Australian businesses to seize investment opportunities in India, particularly in sectors such as digital infrastructure, telecom, semiconductors, and various other areas of collaboration. He also highlighted the significant economic reforms undertaken by the Indian government.
Interacted with top CEOs during the business roundtable in Sydney. Elaborated on the business opportunities in India and the reform trajectory of our Government. Invited Australian businesses to invest in India. pic.twitter.com/vxxCY3P5ez— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 24, 2023
“Interacted with top CEOs during the business roundtable in Sydney. Elaborated on the business opportunities in India and the reform trajectory of our Government. Invited Australian businesses to invest in India,” PM Modi said in a tweet.
The lighting up of the Sydney Harbour and Opera House in the colors of the Indian tricolor served as a vibrant prelude to PM Modi’s visit.
Concluding his three-nation tour to Japan, Papua New Guinea, and Australia, PM Modi visited Australia as a guest of the Australian government. The bilateral trade relationship between India and Australia continues to grow, with India being Australia’s largest export market for gold and chickpeas, the second-largest for coal and copper ores, and the third-largest for lead and wool.
(With inputs from PTI)