Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has left for India with an important delegation of ministers and business leaders.
His trip will focus on using India’s rapid technological growth and expanding digital economy in Australia’s favour.
On partnering with the next economic superpower that has emerged under Indian PM Narendra Modi, PM Albanese said that this is an important meeting.
“This is an important visit. It will be my fourth meeting with Prime Minister Modi.”
Earlier, as newly appointed Prime Minister, Albanese travelled to the Quad Leaders Meeting in Tokyo on May 24 of last year.
Today, Australia and India have emerged as important partners.
PM Albanese said:
“We share common values. We are both vibrant democracies. We have an interest in improving our economic relations, and the Varghese Report provides a blueprint that hasn’t been fulfilled enough.”
India is currently Australia’s sixth largest trading partner, however, in terms of bilateral investment, both nations feel a lack.
PM Albanese said:
“The truth is that India, along with Indonesia, will grow to be the third and fourth largest economies in the world in coming years. That presents an incredible opportunity for Australia.”
PM Albnaese will be giving at least seven speeches over the coming days. He will cover opportunities, increased people-to-people relations, educational transfers, increased two-way investment, and increased engagement between the two business communities.
“And I think it is an enormous opportunity for Australia.”
On the question of the security relationship with India particularly through Malabar defence exercises, PM Albanese said that Australia’s “relationship with India is multifaceted.”
“It’s one of people-to-people relations, the growing diaspora that is there in Australia is an asset for Australia, but also those people-to-people links are so important. It’s also about our trade, but it’s also about our security relationship.”
“Operation Malabar will be hosted by Australia for the first time. It will be important, and those security relationships are also something that I will be having discussions with Prime Minister Modi on.”
Earlier, PM Albanese also met with India’s Foreign Minister Dr S. Jaishankar and reiterated the strong links between the two nations.
India is the host of the G20 and Australia’s Treasurer, Education Minister, Foreign Minister, and other members of the government have engaged with their counterparts on various issues.
PM Albanese said:
“I will of course attend the G20 Meeting when it’s hosted in India. Before then, I will host the Quad Leaders Meeting of Prime Minister Modi, Prime Minister Kishida, and President Biden in Australia in the first half of this year.”
When asked about the growing importance of renewable energy between Australia and India, PM Albanese said that it is important to tackle pollution and focus on lower emissions.
“We will be talking about the new industries and opportunities that Australia has, whether it be provision of lithium and other materials that are important for the shift to renewables. The growth of areas like green hydrogen present enormous opportunities.”
PM Albanese said that PM Modi is very conscious of shifting the energy focus and a key driver of new technology and innovation. And there is a great scope for Australia and India to cooperate as we both transition for clean energy from an assist on trade.”
PM Albanese is accompanied by 25 senior business leaders, CEOs of major Australian corporations, leaders of universities, leaders of IT companies, resources, and other companies who want to improve nation’s relationship with India. The delegation will visit Ahmedabad, Mumbai and New Delhi.