CANBERRA (London Post in Collaboration with AAP) Dr. Majid Khan -Australia could sign a ‘transformative’ Indian trade deal by the end of the year after Anthony Albanese announced a number of deals to conclude his visit to the subcontinent.
Speaking jointly with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister announced that the two countries had reached an agreement to strengthen their economic and cultural ties.
Importantly, Albanese said the countries had agreed to finalize a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement soon, adding he was confident it would be completed by the end of the year.
“This transformative agreement will maximize the potential of our bilateral economic ties, create job opportunities and improve the living standards of people in Australia and India,” he said.
A limited free trade agreement between the two countries took effect in January, but he has already paid off with $2.5 billion worth of Australian goods imported into India.
The pair also announced an Australia-India solar task force co-chaired by Australian professor Renate Egan, one tangible outcome from discussions of the need to address climate change.
The nations are also set to work more closely on supplying critical minerals as India seeks to meet ambitious goals of 50 per cent renewable energy and 30 per cent electric vehicle usage by 2030.
“I am proud of the existing co-operation between Australia and India on solar and hydrogen technologies … and the opportunities for us to work more closely to secure critical minerals supply chains,” Mr Albanese said.
“The task force will provide our governments with advice on opportunities to accelerate solar PV deployment and enhance supply chains.”
An audiovisual co-production agreement was also signed, supporting skilled jobs and creative exchange in the development of screen projects.
The leaders also made “significant and ambitious progress” on defence and security and committed to more information sharing. “Prime Minister Modi and I are committed to discussing an increasingly uncertain global security environment, addressing common challenges, and working towards an open, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific. and India’s defense and security partnership,” said Albanese.
“We welcome the increased exchange of defense information between Australia and India, including in the maritime domain.”
Albanese had toured INS Vikrant, the first aircraft carrier built in India, before announcing the national security agreement.
Later this year, Australia will host Exercise Malabar for the first time, and India will participate in Australia’s Talisman Saber exercise for the first time.
The prime minister had previously laid wreaths at the crematorium of Mahatma Gandhi, who he described as a “giant of the 20th century.”
Mr Albanese will also speak in front of the Indian Institute of Technology and conduct a question-and-answer session with students on how to strengthen links with higher education. The institute maintains partnerships with several Australian universities.
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