- 2nd India-Australia virtual summit to begin today
- PM Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison to hold talks on March 21
- They will prepare a roadmap for new initiatives and enhance cooperation in various fields
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison will hold talks on the sidelines of the second India-Australia virtual summit today (March 21) to lay a roadmap on new initiatives and enhance cooperation in diverse fields between the two countries.
The summit is expected to mark the largest ever trade agreement by the Australian government in India, with Canberra announcing an investment of Rs 1,500 crore across several sectors in the country.
The two countries are also expected to conclude an early harvest agreement by the end of this month. The purpose of an early harvest agreement is to liberalize tariffs on the trade of certain goods between two countries or trading blocs prior to a comprehensive agreement.
According to sources, the two countries will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of critical minerals, which will help increase India’s access to metallic coal and lithium in Australia and meet India’s growing demand for electric vehicles and growing infrastructure. will complete. According to sources, the Union Minister of Coal and Mines in India, Pralhad Joshi will visit Australia soon.
The summit follows the historic first virtual summit in June 2020 when the ties between India and Australia were elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. During the upcoming virtual summit, the leaders will take stock of the progress made on various initiatives under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
The previous summit delivered eight landmark agreements to drive India-Australia cooperation, including a Joint Declaration on Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) and several Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in various fields including cyber were involved. Technology, Mining, Defense Cooperation, Public Administration and Water Resources Management. Recently, in September 2021, Prime Minister Modi had a bilateral meeting with PM Morrison in Washington DC on the sidelines of the Quad Leaders Summit.
The two leaders met again in November last year on the sidelines of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland. PM Morrison also addressed the Bengaluru Tech Summit on 17 November that year, where he announced the new Australia-India Center of Excellence. Important and emerging technology policy and intention to set up a new Consulate General in Bengaluru while his Indian counterpart PM Modi delivered the keynote address at the Sydney Dialogue on India’s Technology Development and Revolution on 18 November.
Cooperation between the two countries has also been taken forward at the ministerial level with 2+2 Foreign and Defense Ministerial talks. Australian Foreign Minister Maris Payne and Defense Minister Peter Dutton meet their Indian counterparts S Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh in New Delhi for the first India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in September 2021.
The Quad has become an important multilateral forum for strengthening cooperation on issues of mutual interest. S Jaishankar visited Australia in February 2022 to attend the 4th Quad Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Melbourne on 11 February.
Even at the cultural level, the size and importance of the Indian community in Australia continues to grow, with a population of approximately 7,21,000 in 2020. India is one of the top sources of skilled immigrants to Australia as well as a steady source of students. and tourists.
(with ANI inputs)