Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced on Friday that he will visit India in March to lock India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) deal, news agency ANI reported citing a statement released by the Australian Prime Minister’s Office.
Albanese earlier this week spoke to Australian media regarding the meeting between him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of G20 Bali. He said he discussed finalising the economic cooperation agreement between Australia and India.
Albanese said Australia regards the deal as being very important for both nations. “I will visit India in March. We’ll take a business delegation to India. And that will be an important visit and an upgrade in the relationship that we have between our two nations,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The Australian head-of-state also said that PM Modi will visit Australia in 2023 for the Quad Leadership Summit. Albanese said he is also looking forward to visiting India once more for the G20 summit. He said talks between him and PM Modi regarding the Quad leadership summit were also held during their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
Earlier this month, Union minister of commerce Piyush Goyal held a meeting with his Australian counterpart Don Farrell where both ministers discussed the ECTA deal. Goyal outlined that early implementation of the India-Australia ECTA was in the best interest of both countries.
The IndAus ECTA was signed on April 20.
Along with trade and people-to-people ties, India and Australia are also coming together to tackle the threats arising from Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific.
Australia continues to face threats from the Chinese Navy as the latter has taken steps which undermine the security of the region and in some cases have even brought these nations at the brink of a diplomatic tussle. A People’s Liberation Army – Navy (PLA-N) vessel was spotted shining a laser light on an Australian P-8A Poseidon - a maritime patrol aircraft earlier in February.
In May, a Chinese spy ship sailed past the Harold E Holt naval station at Exmouth.
A Pew Research Centre poll shows Australians view the Chinese government negatively as relations between Canberra and Beijing soured over the past three years.