Acting East with renewed zeal, India is set to deepen its strategic and economic ties with Australia, a G20 economy and a strategic partner, during Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s maiden visit to New Delhi.
The major takeaways from Mr Turnbull’s April 9-12 visit are expected to be in realms of enhanced security cooperation and intensified collaboration in education and skills-building between the two countries.
The strategic importance of India and Australia for each other is growing amid the evolving geo-political landscape in the Asia-Pacific region. The Australian government has identified India among the top five priority relationships and New Delhi sees Canberra as a key strategic partner in the region.
Civil nuclear cooperation is poised to register progress, with both sides looking to finalise commercial negotiations for the first shipment of uranium from Australia to India this year.
With the Indian Ocean emerging as a zone of contention and rivalry between major players in the region, including India and China, New Delhi and Canberra are expected to focus on increased collaboration in the strategically located region. The two countries are also expected to upscale their cooperation in counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation.
Australia is poised to become an important partner of India in its development agenda, with the two countries expected to sign pacts on education and skill development. The focus on the training partnership is evident in the composition of the Australian leader’s delegation, which includes nearly half of Australia’s universities.