The meeting between Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Indian PM Narendra Modi at the sidelines of G20 in Bali bought pleasant news of his first India visit in March 2023.
This visit is one of the most important for both Australia and India as it will see the finalisation of the Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement.
PM Albanese announced his India visit on Wednesday as an opportunity to upgrade the relationship.
“It will be an important visit and upgrade in the relationship,”Mr Albanese told reporters in Bali.
The Bali G20 summit was in many ways another important step towards the stabilisation of the Australia-China relationship.
After the meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping, PM Albanese said, “I reaffirmed the Australian Government’s view that it is in the interests of both sides to continue on the path of stabilising and developing our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.”
“There are many steps yet to take. We will cooperate where we can, disagree where we must, and engage in our national interest,” he added
However, meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was cordial and full of laughter.
Both Leaders expressed satisfaction at the excellent state of relations between the two countries under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and the high-level interactions taking place on a regular basis between India and Australia.
They reviewed the progress made in deepening cooperation across a diverse range of sectors, including defence, trade, education, clean energy and people-to-people ties. Institutional partnership in the field of education, especially in higher education, vocational education, training and capacity building was discussed in detail.
Views were also exchanged on regional and global issues of mutual interest, which included their shared vision for a stable and peaceful Indo-Pacific Region, climate-related matters and India’s G20 Presidency.
Indian PM Modi is scheduled to visit Australia to attend the 2023 QUAD Summit sometime in February next year. DFAT sources say that soon after the QUAD summit, PM Albanese’s India visit in March will also include a business delegation.
Eight Indian Ministers have visited Australia since the Albanese government came to power in Canberra and Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister Tim Watts is in India while this report is being published.
This definitely outlines the mutual respect and growing dependence of both countries in terms of market and strategic needs.
In a statement, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he looks forward to welcoming Prime Minister Albanese to India at an early opportunity.