Abbott's India visit: The agenda

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by AVERAGE INDIAN, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    Prime Minister Tony Abbott arrives in India today to meet with India’s newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Abbott's trip will be the first bilateral visit by a foreign leader since Modi assumed office, and if handled well, could lay the groundwork for a deeper Australia-India relationship.

    So what might be on the cards for discussion between the two leaders?

    Uranium

    It has been reported that Australia and India have now concluded negotiations on the civil nuclear agreement, which began in 2012 under the Gillard Government. If all goes to plan, this agreement will be formally signed during the visit, establishing the framework for Australian uranium to be exported to India for civilian purposes. Aside from assisting India to achieve its goal of upgrading its nuclear power capacity to 20,000 MW by 2020, the conclusion of the agreement will remove what has been a major source of mistrust and an impediment to closer relations in recent years.

    Economics

    With Trade Minister Andrew Robb accompanying Abbott on this visit and Indian economic growth starting to bounce back from the historic lows in 2012-2013, we can expect that trade and investment will feature prominently in discussions with India's new leadership. India is already Australia's fifth-largest export market and tenth-largest bilateral trading partner, though the trading relationship registered a decline of 19.5% in the last financial year. The conclusion of the civil nuclear agreement may pave the way for more progress on the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, discussion of which is likely to be on the cards.

    Regional security

    Having just returned from a successful trip to Japan, Modi's first bilateral visit outside India's immediate neighbourhood, regional security is likely to be fresh on his mind. So this is an opportune moment to invest in the Australia-India strategic partnership. During the visit of the former Indian Defence Minister to Australia last year, it was announced that Australia and India would partake in bilateral naval exercises from 2015. Abbott should move quickly to put this back on the agenda. As has been argued by my Lowy Institute colleagues, Australia and India are well positioned to play a leadership role among middle powers in the Indo-Pacific, and maritime security is a natural avenue for the two to expand their cooperation.

    Education

    Australia's education relationship with India has begun to bounce back since the low point of the 2009-10 student crisis. Education is already Australia's largest service-related export to India, and with a million people entering India's labour market each month there is enormous potential for Australian vocational education and training providers to deliver vital skills to India's burgeoning youth population.

    Asylum seekers

    The issue of asylum seekers could be something of a wildcard in this visit, and has already caused some friction between Australia and India’s new government . Given India's potential as an important economic, diplomatic and strategic partner for Australia, Abbott should exercise caution in allowing a divisive domestic issue to unduly influence his government’s foreign policy priorities. If he does choose to raise asylum seekers with Modi, Abbott must carefully manage how discussions are portrayed externally, especially in India's vociferous news media.

    The prime ministers will have the opportunity to meet again at the G20 Leaders' Summit in Brisbane, and Abbott should use his time in India to encourage Mr Modi to undertake a full bilateral visit in November. Modi's government has received the strongest electoral mandate in thirty years, and this week's visit will set the tone for Australia-India relations under the new leadership in both countries. For the visit to be successful, Abbott should avoid the continuation of largely transactional relations with India and instead use this opportunity to inaugurate a deeper partnership with this important Indo-Pacific neighbour.

    http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2014/09/04/Abbott-in-India-agenda.aspx
     
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  3. cobra commando

    cobra commando Tharki regiment Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Australian PM Tony Abbott: India is an emerging democratic superpower

    MUMBAI: Describing India as an "emerging democratic superpower", Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott today said he looks forward to making the most of the abundant opportunities for business in the country. Kicking off his two-day India visit from the commercial capital, Abbott said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call "come, make in India" was "close in spirit and in intent" to the phrase he had used in respect of Australia that "we are open for business". "This is a country which has amazed the world over the last few decades with its growth and its development - the world's second most populous country; on purchasing power terms, the world's third largest economy, clearly, the emerging democratic superpower of the world and a country with which Australia has long and warm ties. "The purpose of this trip, as far as I am concerned, is to acknowledge the importance of India in the wider world, acknowledge the importance of India to Australia's future, to let the government and the people of India know what Australia has to offer India and the wider world for our part, and to build on those stronger foundations," he said addressing a 30-member business delegation accompanying him on the trip at Hotel Taj Palace. Noting how India has changed "enormously" since his last visit 33 years ago as a backpacker, Abbott, who has expressed keenness to sign a nuclear deal with the country, said, "I can remember on my first day in Mumbai watching a bullock cart take material to a nuclear power station.


    Read more here:
    Australian PM Tony Abbott: India is an emerging democratic superpower - The Economic Times
     
  4. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

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    Abbott defends India uranium deal

    Updated: 6:15 am, Friday, 5 September 2014

     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
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  5. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re-energising ties: Modi gives Aus PM Abbott a spectacular welcome - Firstpost

    Sep 5, 2014 12:05 IST


    New Delhi: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott arrived here on Friday, the second day of his India visit.

    There was a formal welcome ceremony by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who expressed his confidence of strengthening relations with Australia.

    "A warm welcome to PM @ TonyAbbottMHR! I am sure his visit will further strengthen ties between Australia and India," Modi said in a tweet.

    The welcome ceremony left the Australian Prime Minister impressed. Abbott tweeted: "A spectacular official welcome to India by Prime Minister @ narendramodi."

    Abbott was received at the airport by Piyush Goyal, union minister of state (independent charge) for power, coal and new renewable energy.

    "India-Australia set to re-energise ties," Syed Akbaruddin, ministry of external affairs spokesperson, said in a tweet.

    Abbott, who arrived here last evening after stopping over in Mumbai for a function, will be calling on President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari also.



    Agencies
     
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  6. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    India and Australia seal nuclear deal, Abbott meets Modi

    NEW DELHI: India and Australia sealed the long-awaited nuclear energy deal on Friday even as Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he wanted first-rank relations with India.

    Abbott met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and finalized the deal to allow the export of uranium to India.
    Abbott said India and Australia were bound by "strongly convergent" trade and strategic interests on the last day of his visit, which culminated with the deal to supply uranium to the energy-hungry country.

    During the meeting, PM Abbott gifted a 'Nehru jacket' made of Australian wool to PM Modi, who in return presented him a copy of the Gita.

    India and Australia kick-started negotiations on uranium sales in 2012 after Canberra lifted a long-time ban on exporting the valuable ore to Delhi to meet its ambitious nuclear energy programme.
    Australia, the world's third biggest uranium producer, had previously ruled out such exports to nuclear-armed India because it has not signed the global non-proliferation treaty.

    Both India and Pakistan are nuclear-armed, and along with Israel and North Korea are the only countries not signed up to the non-proliferation treaty to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.


    Narendra Modi and Tony Abbott


    But Abbott said on Thursday that he was assured of India's commitment to peaceful power generation.

    "India has an absolutely impeccable non-proliferation record and India has been a model international citizen," he told reporters in Mumbai.

    Australia's decision to overturn its ban followed a landmark US agreement in 2008 to support India's civilian nuclear programme.

    India is struggling to produce enough power to meet rising demand amid its 1.2-billion strong population as its economy and vast middle-class expand. Nearly 400 million still without access to electricity, according to the World Bank, and crippling power cuts are common.



    The two PMs at the Rashtrapati Bhavan (EPA Photo)

    The agreement will allow India to ramp up plans for more nuclear power stations, with only 20 small plants at present and a heavy dependency on coal.

    Asked about India's management of its nuclear power industry and safety standards, Abbott said it was "not our job to tell India how to conduct its internal affairs".

    "Our job is to try to ensure we act in accordance with our own standards of decency and that's what we intend to do," he said, adding that India's "standards are improving all the time".


    India and Australia seal nuclear deal, Abbott meets Modi - The Times of India


    Modi gifted Tony Abott a copy of Bhagvad Gita !
     
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  7. cobra commando

    cobra commando Tharki regiment Veteran Member Senior Member

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