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Media Statement - Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister Of Australia

Posted on: May 24, 2023 | Back | Print

24 May 2023
Prime Minister, Prime Minister of the Republic of India
Australia-India relationship

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: I am absolutely delighted to welcome Prime Minister Modi here to Australia.

I am pleased to meet Prime Minister Modi so soon after our productive meeting in Hiroshima for the 2023 Quad Leaders’ Summit.

Quad Leaders stand together for an open, stable, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region; a region where sovereignty is respected, and all countries large and small benefit from a regional balance that keeps the peace.

This is my sixth meeting with Prime Minister Modi, in just the one year and now one day in which I have had the honour of serving as Prime Minister. That shows the strength of our relationship.

My visit to India in March for the Australia-India Annual Leaders’ Summit focused on the key pillars of our relationship:

Trade, investment and business cooperation;

Defence and security cooperation;

Climate and energy cooperation;

And people-to-people links.

In our bilateral meeting today, Prime Minister Modi and I further built on those pillars.

We reiterated our shared ambition for an early conclusion of the Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement later this year.

Prime Minister Modi and I are pleased to have just witnessed the exchange of the Australia-India Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement.

This Arrangement will promote the exchange of students, graduates, researchers and business people; expand our people-to-people ties and enhance cooperation in preventing people smuggling.

Renewable energy was once again a focus and an important topic in our discussions.

I am pleased that we have just witnessed the signing of the Terms of Reference of the Australia-India Green Hydrogen Taskforce.

The Taskforce will comprise Australian and Indian experts in renewable hydrogen and report to the Australian-Indian Ministerial Energy Dialogue on the opportunities which are there for Australia and India to cooperate in this important area of renewable hydrogen.

Investments like the taskforce will help power our industries in the future, and ensure that Australia and India meet our energy targets in the interests of both our respective countries, but also in support of reduction of global emissions.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Modi and I celebrated Australia’s valued Indian diaspora communities at a rather extraordinary event, it must be said, event at Qudos Bank Arena.

I was delighted to unveil with Prime Minister Modi a plaque for the foundation stone of a “Little India” a gateway in Harris Park in Sydney's western suburbs.

I am pleased also to celebrate the City of Perth and Western Australian Government’s decision to rename a road along Perth’s Swan River in recognition of Private Nain Singh Sailani.

Private Singh Sailani was one of 12 known Indian ANZACs who fought in the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War.

When I was in India in March, I announced the appointment of the CEO of the Centre for Australia-India Relations, Mr Tim Thomas. I am pleased to announce that the Centre has now commenced operations and will be based in Parramatta.

I am also pleased to announce the establishment of a new Australia Consulate-General in Bengaluru, which will help connect Australian businesses to India’s booming digital and innovation ecosystem.

I welcome India’s plans for a Consulate-General in Brisbane.

The Bengaluru establishment will be the fifth diplomatic presence that is there in India from Australia.

I want to thank you again, Prime Minister Modi for visiting and receiving such a warm welcome here. I look forward to returning to India in September for the G20 Leaders’ Summit.

HIS EXCELLENCY SHRI NARENDRA MODI, PRIME MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA: Prime Minister Albanese, delegates from both countries, friends from media, Namaskar.

I thank the Australian Prime Minister Albanese and the people of Australia, from the bottom of my heart, for a warm reception and respect extended to me and my delegation.

I'm visiting Australia within two months of the visit of my friend, Prime Minister Albanese, to India. This is our sixth meeting in the past one year. This reflects a depth in our comprehensive relations, convergence in our views, and the maturity of our ties.

In the language of cricket, our ties have entered the T20 mode.

Excellency, as you said yesterday, our democratic values are the foundation of our ties. Our relations are based on mutual trust and respect. The Indian community in Australia is a living bridge between our countries.

Last evening at the Indian community events, Prime Minister Albanese and I unveiled Little India of Harris Park. I could also sense the popularity of Prime Minister in the event.

Friends, in my meeting with Prime Minister Albanese today, we talked about taking the Australia-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership to greater heights in the next decade. We had detailed discussions on scope for cooperation in new areas.

Last year, the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement came into effect. Today, we have decided to focus on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement - this will further strengthen our economic partnership and open up new avenues for cooperation.

We had constructive discussions on strengthening our strategic cooperation in the sectors of mining and critical minerals. We identified concrete areas for cooperation and in renewable energy sector.

We have decided to set up a task force on green hydrogen. Yesterday, I had useful discussions with Australian CEOs on investments in different areas and in the Business Roundtable today, I will discuss cooperation in trade, investment and technology.

Today, we signed the Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement. This will further strengthen our living bridge.

As I announced yesterday for our continued deepening relationship, we will soon open a new Indian consulate in Brisbane, just as Australia has announced opening a new consulate in Bengaluru.

Friends, Prime Minister Albanese and I have in the past discussed the issue of attack on temples in Australia and activities of separatist elements - we discussed the pattern today also again.

We will not accept any elements that harm the friendly and warm ties between India and Australia by their actions or thoughts - I thank Prime Minister for the actions that have already been taken. Prime Minister Albanese has once again assured me today that he will take strict actions against such elements in the future also.

Friends, the scope of India-Australia ties is not limited to merely our two countries. It is also linked to regional stability, peace and global welfare. A few days ago in Quad Summit in Hiroshima, with Prime Minister, we discussed Indo-Pacific issues.

India-Australia cooperation can be beneficial for the growth of global south also, the Indian tradition of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam that views the entire world as one family is the central theme of India's G20 presidency.

I thank Prime Minister Albanese from the bottom of my heart for Australia's cooperation for our G20 initiatives.

Friends, I invite Prime Minister Albanese and all Australian cricket fans to India for the Cricket World Cup this year. At that time, you will also get to see the grand celebrations of Diwali in India.

Excellency, I'm excited to welcome you again in India for the G20 Summit in September this year. Once again, thank you very much.

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