India and Australia agreed to Concentrate on Energy and Food Security
India and Australia on 28 January 2013 agreed to concentrate on priority areas like energy and food security for mutual benefit of the two countries.
India and Australia on 28 January 2013 agreed to concentrate on priority areas like energy and food security for mutual benefit of the two countries. At the 14th Session of the India - Australia Joint Ministerial Commission held in New Delhi, the two sides underlined the importance of a solid institutional framework to facilitate future growth in bilateral trade and investment. The Commission was co-chaired by Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles Anand Sharma and his Australian counterpart, Craig Emerson.
India and Australia welcomed the positive momentum in the India-Australia relationship, based on shared values, converging interests and growth in economic links. The successful state visit to India by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard in October 2012 underlined both countries deep commitment to advance the Strategic Partnership agreed in November 2009. The Minister for External Affairs, Salman Khurshid, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr, held the 8th Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue on the 21 January 2013, to review the bilateral relations and build on the momentum achieved by Prime Minister Gillard’s visit. The two countries also met at Ministerial level to advance Agriculture, Energy, Education and Science & Technology links.
India and Australia emphasised the importance of closer trade and investment relations as a critical component of the strategic partnership. Both nations underlined the importance of a solid institutional framework to facilitate future growth in bilateral trade and investment. In this context, they highlighted the priority they placed on the conclusion of a mutually beneficial Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). The countries welcomed progress through four rounds of negotiations to date, including the exchange of goods offers. They looked forward to a future exchange offers on services. Ministers reiterated that a comprehensive, high quality equitable agreement would broaden the base of merchandise trade, remove non-tariff barriers that impede trade in services, and facilitate and encourage investment.
India and Australia welcomed the growth in the bilateral investment relationship and agreed on the importance of strong bilateral investment flows particularly in priority areas such as mining, advanced manufacturing, infrastructure, clean technology and tourism.
India and Australia recognized the critical role played by industry in driving trade and investment between the two countries. In this regard, they expressed their strong support for the initiatives of the India Australia CEO Forum. Both nations welcomed the outcomes from the second forum meeting on 16 October 2012 held in New Delhi including agreement to promote skills training, increased mutual cooperation on infrastructure development, promotion of services trade, and the creation of investment champions to identify opportunities and navigate government processes. The nations commended the important work under way in the Forum. The nations welcomed the third meeting of the Forum to be held in Australia in March 2013. Other areas of mutual interests are as following:
- The nations discussed Australia and India`s mutual interests in the effectiveness of global and regional economic institutions.
- The nations welcomed the launch of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations towards a modern, comprehensive, high quality, and mutually beneficial regional economic partnership agreement. They discussed their mutual commitment to strengthening the East Asia Summit (EAS) as a forum that incorporated all the major economies in the India-Pacific region.
- The nations discussed the importance of consolidating the G20 as the pre-eminent global economic forum.
- The nations underlined their commitment to reinforce the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), both during India`s remaining period as chair and Australia`s two year term as chair from November 2013.
- The nations reaffirmed their commitment to finding ways to break through the current impasse in the Doha Round of World Trade Organization negotiations.
- The nations welcomed the inaugural Ministerial-level dialogue on energy security in December 2012 as a significant step in developing a strategic relationship on energy and resources.
- The nations acknowledged the critical importance of education and skills development in helping to achieve both countries targets for innovation, productivity and economic growth and welcomed efforts underway to strengthen the bilateral knowledge partnership.
- The nations noted the contribution of the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund.
- The nations highlighted research work underway to lift agricultural productivity and make crops more disease-resistant. India and Australia agreed that the next Joint Ministerial Commission will be held in Australia in 2014.