Talks to focus on steps to boost India-Australia trade

Updated - November 17, 2021 04:07 am IST

Published - November 17, 2014 11:53 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Premier Tony Abbott are expected to discuss economic measures to improve bilateral trade from its current levels of about $15 billion, far lower than the targeted $40 billion, even as they work towards the FTA. The leaders will meet for talks on Tuesday in Canberra.

While the two sides haven’t made progress on the two outstanding agreements, on operationalising the civilian nuclear deal so as to provide India with Uranium, and of a free trade agreement being negotiated, officials said they hoped both would be signed in 2015.

South China Sea issue In the past year, Australia and India have also made common cause on the maritime navigability of the South China Sea, with India criticising China on the issue. However, officials said they don’t expect the issue to be highlighted during the bilateral meeting, especially given that Mr. Abbott and Chinese President Xi Jinping just announced on Monday a free trade agreement expected to boost their bilateral trade of $130 billion further. Australia and China have also upgraded their strategic partnership.

Mr. Modi’s will also address the Australian Parliament on Tuesday, the first Indian Prime Minister to do so. On Monday, addressing Australian MPs, Mr. Xi said China feels like the “Big guy in the crowd” who is criticised “for standing out”.

“The Chinese government is ready to enhance dialogue and cooperation to jointly maintain freedom of navigation and safety of maritime rules. Neither turbulence nor war serves the fundamental interests of the Chinese people,” Mr. Xi said.

Both Mr. Modi and Mr. Xi will travel to Fiji next, and separately address leaders of the Pacific Islands there.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.