Australian PM in India to push bilateral trade deal

Cheryl Sanders
April 20, 2017

He is here to hold talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to boost ties in key areas including defence, security, energy and trade.

India and Australia signed agreements Monday on cooperating to combat worldwide terrorism and transnational organized crime, as well as working together in areas such as the environment, climate, wildlife and civil aviation security.

For India, Malcolm Turnbull's visit is an opportunity to step up economic engagement, stress its vantage point in the Indo-Pacific region, besides the importance of dealing with a democratic nation at a time of global flux.

The Prime Minister went on to re-iterate the CECA was on the agenda, but declined to give an exact timeline.

They also held talks on Canberra supplying uranium to Indian nuclear power plants.

"Both India and Australia recognise the central value of education and innovation in the prosperity of our societies", he said. "The achievements of India are an admiration for the world and we look forward to working even more closely", he told the media here during his ceremonial reception at the President House.

Prime Minister Turnbull emphasised the role Australia's industry-led vocational education and training system, qualifications and training providers could play in India's program to train 400 million people by 2022.

On energy cooperation, the Indian Prime Minister said that he was happy "that our dialogue and cooperation in other forms of energy, including renewable energy, is on the up-swing".

While the India-Australia FTA is still in the making, China and Australia have simultaneously initiated the process of upgrading their symbiotic relationship enabled by ChAFTA (China Australia Free Trade Agreement).

Besides coal and education, the bilateral trade between the two Indian Ocean Rim countries is increasing at a healthy pace and has doubled to more than A$20 billion in the past one decade.

Earlier, he was greeted by Modi at the presidential palace in New Delhi.

India and Australia on Monday made a decision to kick-start the stalled negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) by holding the next round of talks soon.

Other reports by iNewsToday