India and Australia must work together more closely to shape the direction in which the world is going, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said at a conference in Australia’s Sydney on Saturday (February 18).
Jaishankar was delivering the keynote address at Raisina @ Sydney Business Breakfast when he made the remark. He said the state of the world creates a very compelling case for India and Australia to do more with each other.
“One of the big goals would really be, how do you de-risk the global economy? One, by building more reliable and resilient supply chains, which is exactly one of the initiatives that India and Australia and Japan have embarked on to,” said Jaishankar.
“ECTA to turbocharge ties”
India and Australia are “on track” to further strengthen their bilateral ties, and the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) will “turbocharge” the relationship, he said.
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Signed on April 2, 2022, the India-Australia ECTA came into force on December 29 last year. The agreement will help boost the bilateral trade in goods and services to cross USD 70 billion in the next five years, according to economic think tank GTRI.
“The state of the world creates a very compelling case for India and Australia to do more with each other… I think we can see the direction (in which) the world is going…it’s in transition, and it’s necessary for countries like India and Australia to work more closely to shape the direction in which the world is going,” Jaishankar said.
India targeting 7% growth
He said India is targeting 7 per cent economic growth this year.
“But we do expect it to improve in the next five years. And definitely, we think we would stay in that 7 to 9 per cent range at least for a decade, decade and a half,” he said.
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A bullish economic scenario in India today and a positive investment climate are results of decisions taken during difficult times, Jaishankar said. “Economic confidence is being seen in our ability to create, collaborate and manufacture,” he said.
The minister noted that there has been a very substantial movement of Indian talent to Australia. “How do we expand in the ability to impart skills and education? We would very much welcome Australian universities in India to do that,” he said.
“And for us, it’s not just about Indian students coming to Australia, it’s about India and Australia working together in India to produce more skilled, more competent talent,” he said.
(With agency inputs)