On my first visit to India as Prime Minister, I will visit New Delhi and India’s financial capital, Mumbai, to strengthen the strategic partnership between our
Australia and India have strong and growing economic and trade ties. India is Australia’s fifth largest export market, with total exports of $11.4 billion, and there is potential for further cooperation in resources, science, technology and education.
My visit will be an opportunity to engage with Prime Minister Modi early in the term of his government to increase bilateral cooperation to advance our mutual interests.
I will also meet other senior political leaders, including the President.
The visit will be an opportunity to promote trade and investment and promote our G20 objectives ahead of the Brisbane summit in November.
I will be accompanied on my visit to India by a group of senior business leaders. The delegation reflects the breadth of Australian commercial interests in India and showcases opportunities for further business partnerships.
Following my visit to India, I will travel to Malaysia for talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Australia’s defence ties with Malaysia are amongst our closest in South East Asia and we feel a deep connection to Malaysia given shared experiences arising from the MH370 and MH17 disasters.
Our trade has grown year-on-year, with two-way trade last year worth almost $18 billion.
Hundreds of thousands of Malaysians have studied in Australia and we will soon see more Australians travelling the other way when Malaysia joins the New Colombo Plan in 2015.
I will return to Australia on September 7.
Neeraj Nanda adds from Melbourne
Mr. Tony Abbott, is expected to ink a nuclear safeguards pact with New Delhi during his visit. The deal comes after India convinced Australia any export of Uranium will not be used for manufacturing nuclear weapons.
Labour Prime Minister Julia Gillard had overturned the ban on Uranium exports to India and since 2012 both the countries have been negotiating a safeguards deal. India has not signed the non – proliferation treaty, which it calls discriminatory.
In a statement released by the PM office, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says, “My visit will be an opportunity to engage with Prime Minister Modi early in the term of his government to increase bilateral cooperation to advance our mutual interests.I will also meet other senior political leaders, including the President.”
“The visit will be an opportunity to promote trade and investment and promote our G20 objectives ahead of the Brisbane summit in November.
“I will be accompanied on my visit to India by a group of senior business leaders. The delegation reflects the breadth of Australian commercial interests in India and showcases opportunities for further business partnerships,” the statement says.
The Prime Minister’s visit to India will address the dwindling trade between the two countries. A white paper, published jointly by the Australia India Institute and the Australia India Business Council, was presented to Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, in Sydney recently. It is also expected to be presented to the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, before he visits India early next month.
It points to the urgent need to reverse Australia’s declining trade with India – which fell more than 26 per cent between 2009 and 2013 – the white paper, titled The Australia- India trade relationship – Past, present and future possibilities, sketches a plan for the federal government to take bilateral relations to a higher level.
A PTI report says the white paper has sought the signing of a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) on “top priority” and called for fast engagement with the new Narendra Modi-led government and has also suggested specific directions in which the government should proceed, breaking it industry-wise.
Breaking the areas of cooperation with India industry wise, the paper said Australia must focus on energy, mining, resources, infrastructure, financial services, food security, agriculture, water management, education, tourism and health and aged care and technology and IT sector, the report says.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s is expected to visit Brisbane for the G20 summit in November this year.