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India, Australia Foreign Ministers Meet, Announce Steps To Deepen Bilateral Relations

Australian foreign minister Marise Payne and Union minister for external affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar address a press conference after a meeting in Melbourne, Australia (Image: Reuters)

Australian foreign minister Marise Payne and Union minister for external affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar address a press conference after a meeting in Melbourne, Australia (Image: Reuters)

Union minister S Jaishankar and Australian foreign minister Marise Payne said that both nations will work to further enhance trade relations and economic partnership

India and Australia on Saturday expressed mutual desire to strengthen bilateral, trade and people-to-people relationships between both countries. Union minister for external affairs S Jaishankar and Australian foreign minister Marise Payne attended the 12th Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue (FMFD) and the 1st Foreign Ministers Cyber Framework Dialogue.

“We really looked at a very wide range of our bilateral, regional, global partnership. And I again welcome announcements of the additional resources that the government of Australia would be committing for further deepening of our partnership,” Jaishankar said, according to a release by the ministry of external affairs.

“We have committed ourselves today to building more trusted and resilient supply chains and ensuring broad inclusive growth in the Indo-Pacific,” he further added. The union minister also thanked the Australian government for reopening the country’s borders and allowing Indian students and temporary-visa holders return.

Marise Payne also highlighted that the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) will further strengthen economic cooperation between both nations and outlined positive discussions between Australia’s trade minister Dan Tehan and union minister of commerce Piyush Goyal in New Delhi.

“This is an agreement that we are confident will unlock new trade and investment opportunities for both countries, particularly as our respective economies recover from the impact of Covid-19,” Payne was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Australian minister Dan Trehan while speaking to ANI highlighted that new student exchange programs and fellowships have been introduced under the CECA.

India and Australia have deep ties in fields related to education and higher studies. India and Australia bilateral trade stood at $12.3 billion in 2020-21 compared to $12.63 billion in 2019-20. India exports refined petroleum, medicaments, railway vehicles including hover-trains, pearls and gems, jewellery, made up textile articles while importing coal, copper ores and concentrates, gold, vegetables, wool and other animal hair, fruits and nuts, lentils and education related services.

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first published:February 12, 2022, 12:43 IST