Australia’s partnership with India is strategically important and I will visit New Delhi and Chennai on 12-15 April. I will be progressing our ambitious bilateral agenda following visits last year by Prime Minister Abbott to India and Prime Minister Modi to Australia.
As part of the annual Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue I will meet Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj. We will discuss our common interest in concluding administrative arrangements to enable Australian uranium sales under the 2014 Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.
I will also meet Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to discuss Australia’s commitment to closer economic engagement at a time of strong growth in the Indian economy. We will discuss the importance of concluding a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), which would greatly boost our trade and investment links.
The new Framework for Security Cooperation, which was agreed last November, will be discussed with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. Australia and India are committed to working together on a range of security issues, including counter-terrorism, maritime security, countering transnational crime and cyber policy.
I will deliver the inaugural Indo-Pacific Oration at the Observer Research Foundation and present at St Stephen’s College in Delhi on the benefits from the roll out of the New Colombo Plan to India this year.
In Chennai I will officially open the office of the Australian Consulate-General and meet the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, O Panneerselvam. I will also meet senior business leaders to help build Australia’s economic links with southern India, an economically dynamic region of around 300 million people.
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