Thursday, November 30, 2023

Australian PM Albanese to embark on India visit from March 8-11

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Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will pay a state visit to India from March 8 to 11 to finalise the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) while also strengthening bilateral relations.

“At the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, will pay a State Visit to India on 08-11 March 2023. He will be accompanied by Senator Don Farrell, Minister for Trade and Tourism, and Madeleine King, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, along with senior officials and a high-level business delegation,” read a press release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). This will be Albanese’s first visit to India as prime minister. He will arrive in Ahmedabad on March 8, 2023, on the day of Holi, and also visit Mumbai on March 9 before heading to Delhi.

“In Delhi, Prime Minister Albanese will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhawan on March 10, 2023. Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Albanese will hold the Annual Summit to discuss areas of cooperation under the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, besides regional and global issues of mutual interest,” added the release.

Albanese will also make a phone call to President Droupadi Murmu.
India and Australia have cordial relations based on shared values and democratic principles. In June 2020, the two countries elevated their strategic partnership to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which has been strengthened and deepened through frequent high-level exchanges and enhanced cooperation across sectors.

According to the release, Prime Minister Albanese’s visit is expected to give the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership a boost.

The two sides will hold talks on a variety of topics, including clean energy, technology, digital trade, and procurements.

On December 29, 2022, the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) entered into force. According to the agreement, Australia was to provide zero-duty access to India for approximately 96.4 percent of exports (by value) beginning on the day the agreement is implemented.

Australia will provide India with preferential market access on 100% of its tariff lines, including all labor-intensive sectors of export interest to India, such as gems and jewellery, textiles, leather, footwear, furniture, food and agricultural products, engineering products, medical devices, and automobiles.

India, on the other hand, will be offering preferential access to Australia on over 70 per cent of its tariff lines, including lines of export interest to Australia, which are primarily raw materials and intermediaries such as coal, mineral ores and wines.

Earlier, the Australian PM also underscored the importance of defence partnership with India.
“I look forward to strengthening that as well, as well as on security issues. Operation Malabar, of course, will occur in the coming period, which we are hosting. We have much to talk about today,” added Albanese.

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