New Delhi: In the largest-ever investment by the Australian government in India, Canberra will announce an investment of Rs 1,500 crore in the country in multiple sectors at the India-Australia bilateral summit to be held on Monday.
India and Australia will conclude an early harvest agreement by the end of this month, according to sources. An early harvest agreement is aimed at liberalising tariffs on the trade of certain goods between two countries or trading blocs before a comprehensive agreement.
As per a diplomatic source, 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 cater to India’s growing demand for electric vehicles and growing infrastructure.
Australia has one of the biggest reserves of lithium and is also a provider of the cleanest metallic coal.
The two countries will also be building a centre to promote partnership, which will be located in Canberra, Australia. Announcements on space, cyber activities, technology, agriculture, education and broadcasting will also be made, said the source.
According to the source, India-Australia’s comprehensive strategic partnership is not just symbolism but there is remarkable depth in relation.
On Monday, both leaders will demonstrate that India and Australia are top tier partners that deliver.
When asked whether Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and India’s position will have any impact, the source said that former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s 1957 no condemnation policy and space of resolution policy is in place and every country has a different relationship with different countries.
It is widely believed and reported that PM Modi is in discussion with Russian President Putin on the issue.
The source also said it will have no negative impact on India-Australia bilateral relations or quad, although incidents in Ukraine will have implications in the Indo-Pacific region.
Further, the Union Minister of Coal and Mines in India, Pralhad Joshi, is expected to visit Australia soon.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison will hold the second India-Australia Virtual Summit on Monday to lay the way forward on new initiatives and enhance cooperation in a diverse range of sectors between the two countries.
The Summit follows the historic first Virtual Summit in June 2020 when the relationship was elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. During the upcoming virtual summit, the Leaders will take stock of progress made on various initiatives under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
The Leaders are expected to commit to closer cooperation in trade, critical minerals, migration and mobility, and education, among others, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a press statement.
According to the MEA release, views on regional and international issues of mutual interest will also be discussed by the Leaders. It also said the Summit highlights the importance attached by both countries to their bilateral relations as also their close cooperation on regional and global issues.
The India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership has maintained the momentum of an upward trajectory with both countries continuing to collaborate closely, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, in wide-ranging areas including science and technology, defence, cyber, critical and strategic materials, water resource management, as well as public administration and governance.
PM Modi and Morrison met in Washington DC for the first in-person meeting after the COVID-19 pandemic in September 2021 on the margins of the Quad Leaders’ Summit and jointly launched the Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS) in Glasgow on the margins of the COP26 in November 2021.
On Friday, Morrison had underlined that the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries is based on a shared vision of an open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific.
In an official statement, he said, “Australia and India’s strong bilateral relationship is based on mutual understanding and trust, a commitment to democracy, and a shared vision of an open, inclusive, resilient and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”
“Prime Minister Modi and I will discuss deepening our trade and investment relationship and harnessing new economic opportunities to support our mutual economic recovery and growth. Central to these endeavours are strengthened cooperation in defence and security, science and technology, and critical minerals and clean energy,” he added.
Furthermore, the Australian PM said both sides will also discuss a range of regional and multilateral issues, including the situation in Ukraine and its implications for the Indo-Pacific, and Myanmar. (ANI)
first published:March 20, 2022, 7:48 p.m.