Australian PM to visit India, likely to ink deal in rare earth mineral sector
The Australian PM will land in Ahmedabad on Wednesday and is also scheduled to watch the India-Australia cricket test match with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Published: 06th March 2023 10:29 PM | Last Updated: 07th March 2023 11:35 AM | A+A A-
NEW DELHI: The upcoming visit of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to India will is expected to boost significant investments in the rare earth and critical minerals sector.
Australian Ambassador Barry O'Farrell said, "Australia is blessed with critical minerals and India is a reliable and trusted partner. There could be talks around cooperation in this sector when PM Albanese visits India on March 8th."
The Australian Prime Minister lands in Ahmedabad on Wednesday and is expected to take part in Holi celebrations. He is also scheduled to watch the India-Australia cricket test match with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will later hold bilateral talks with his Indian counterpart on Friday.
This will be Albanese's first visit to India after assuming the Prime Minister's office. He is expected to meet PM Modi thrice this year - the second meeting is expected during the G20 Summit, while the third meeting will take place during the Quad summit in Australia.
PM Albanese will be making his first visit to India after assuming charge as PM and is slated to meet PM Modi thrice this year. The second meeting between the two leaders will be during the G20 Summit and the third during the Quad Summit in Australia. A 27-member delegation including Trade minister Don Farrell and Resources Minister Madeleine King are expected to accompany the Australian PM.
Australia is also in the process of setting up a University campus in Gujarat and an announcement will be made during the upcoming visit. "The New Education Policy (NEP) has opened the doors for Indian students to get admitted in an Australian University which has a campus in India," Ambassador Farrell said.
Meanwhile, both nations have received a boost following the signing of the Economic Comprehensive Trade Agreement (ECTA) which came into force on December 29, 2022. Under the pact, Australia was to offer zero-duty access to India for about 96. 4 per cent of exports (by value) from the day the agreement was enforced.
Commerce Minister, Piyush Goyal is expected to have talks with his visiting Australian counterpart Don Farrell too later this week. Furthermore, India and Australia will also look at increasing joint defence exercises, and enhancing information sharing in the maritime domain.
The Australian envoy also responded to incidents of vandalism of Hindu temples in Australia over the past two months, allegedly by pro-Khalistan supporters. "Australia believes in freedom of expression, but there is no space for any hate speech,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Adani continues to be the largest Indian investor in Australia.
"Adani's investment is fully functioning in Australia. No reports I see from Australia of any effect on business, he is still a significant investor," Ambassador O'Farrell added.
Meanwhile, regarding the vandalism that has been reported in the recent past across various temples in Australia, Ambassador Farrell said that these incidents appalled Australians and they had nothing to do with the Khalistani groups that are allegedly behind this.
"Australia believes in freedom of expression, but there is no space for any hate speech,’’ Ambassador added.
PM Albanese lands in Ahmedabad on Holi and is expected to take part in the celebrations, the following day he will watch a cricket match with PM Modi and on Friday the two are expected to have bilateral talks.