Aussie PM arrives on 4-day visit; Modi ‘looks forward’ to productive talks

Anthony Albanese has said he is keen to deepen Canberra’s relationship with New Delhi at a time of extraordinary growth and dynamism, especially in trade, security, and people-to-people links

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, PM Narendra Modi, Ahmedabad, India visit
Australian PM Anthony Albanese celebrates Holi after his arrival in Ahmedabad on Wednesday afternoon | Pic: Twitter/Anthony Albanese

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Wednesday (March 8) that he was looking forward to deliberations with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese to further the friendship between the two countries.

Albanese, who is on a four-day trip to India, arrived in Ahmedabad on Wednesday afternoon along with a delegation of ministers and business leaders. He is on his maiden visit to India at the invitation of PM Modi and will visit Mumbai on Thursday before arriving in New Delhi later in the day.

Tagging a tweet posted earlier in the day by the Australian PM, Modi tweeted, “India eagerly awaits your arrival! Looking forward to productive deliberations to further the India-Australia friendship.”


“Commitment to deepening ties”

In a series of tweets posted earlier in the day, Albanese wrote, “This trip demonstrates our commitment to deepening our links with India, and to being a force for stability and growth in our region.”

Another tweet read, “We have an historic opportunity to strengthen our relationship with India, at a time of extraordinary growth and dynamism in our region. Australia is a better place because of our large, diverse Indian-Australian community.”

Albanese said he was keen to further deepen Canberra’s multifaceted relationship with New Delhi at a time of extraordinary growth and dynamism, especially in areas of trade, security, and people-to-people links.

He added that Australia was home to a large, diverse Indian-Australian community. “Australia and India have a rich friendship, underpinned by our common interests, our shared democratic values, the bonds between our people, and an affectionate but fierce sporting rivalry,” he tweeted.

“We share common values”

Modi and Albanese will watch the first day of the fourth Test between Australia and India in Ahmedabad on March 9. The Australian PM said this would be his fourth meeting with Modi.

“We share common values. We are both vibrant democracies. We have an interest in improving our economic relations.”

The Aussie leader said India was Australia’s sixth largest trading partner but can be much larger in the future. Pointing out that India and Indonesia will grow to be the third and fourth largest economies in the world in coming years, he said, “That presents an incredible opportunity for Australia,” he said.

Ceremonial welcome on Friday

In Delhi, Albanese will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhawan on March 10. Modi and his Australian counterpart 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.

Over the next three days, the visiting prime minister will give at least seven speeches, talking about the opportunities to increase people-to-people relations, educational transfers, increased two-way investment and more engagement between the business communities.

Albanese has also underlined the security relationship between the two countries. Operation Malabar (multilateral naval exercise) will be hosted by Australia for the first time, he said. Calling this important, he said he will discuss the security relationships with Modi.

Also read: Australian parliament nod to FTA with India: What the nations stand to gain

“New industries and opportunities”

“We will be talking about the new industries and opportunities that Australia has, whether it be the provision of lithium and other materials that are important for the shift to renewables.

“The growth of areas like green hydrogen presents enormous opportunities. India is a driver of new technology and innovation. And there is a great scope for Australia and India to cooperate, as we both transition for clean energy from an assist on trade,” he said.

Albanese’s visit is expected to provide further momentum to the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, the Indian External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

From India, Albanese will visit the United States for a bilateral meeting with President Joe Biden.

(With agency inputs)