Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi met in Sydney to discuss regional security and economic ties and signed a migration deal to boost Indian student and business travel to Australia.
This trip is Modi’s first to Australia since 2014 and comes two months after Albanese made visited India.
India and Australia both are members of the Quad group of nations, which includes Japan and the United States.
Modi continued his visit to Sydney after a Quad leader meeting in the city was canceled when US President Joe Biden was forced to return to Washington from a G-7 summit in Tokyo for debt ceiling negotiations.
Albanese said, “Quad leaders stand together for an open, stable, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region … where all countries large and small benefit from a regional balance that keeps the peace.”
Australia, whose largest trading partner is China, is seeking to diversify its export markets, including forging closer trade ties with India.
India is Australia’s sixth-largest trading partner, while around 750,000 people in Australia claim Indian ancestry.
Modi said they discussed increasing cooperation on mining and critical minerals and would work toward a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement.
Modi said, “We talked about taking the Australia-India comprehensive strategic partnership to greater heights in the next decade.”
A migration agreement “will further strengthen our living bridge” Modi said, referring to the Indian diaspora in Australia, which is the second-largest and fastest-growing diaspora group in the country.
In a recent TV interview, Albanese said that “hundreds of thousands of Indian students have been able to access education here in Australia,” benefiting Australia’s economy.
“Bilateral relations between Australia and India have touched new highs and high-level engagements have been constant and have increased since 2014,” Modi said in opening remarks to the meeting.