‘We aspire to achieve new heights in our collaboration’: PM Modi in virtual summit with Australian PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held the first-ever virtual summit with Australian PM Scott Morrison, committing to elevate the India-Australia relationship to a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’.

Both Nations sealed a deal to get access to each other’s military bases, the Indian foreign ministry said.

The mutual logistic support agreement was signed during a virtual summit between the Prime Ministers.

“With Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between India and Australia, we aspire to achieve yet new heights in our collaboration,” Modi tweeted.

“A new model of India-Australia partnership, a new model of conducting business. Met my dear friend, PM @ScottMorrisonMP over India-Australia Virtual Summit. We had an outstanding discussion, covering the entire expanse of our relationship,” he added.

Australian PM Scott Marrison in a tweet said, “Delighted to meet again in the spirit of dosti (friendship) with my good friend PM @narendramodi and to take our Australia-India partnership to a new level. Mutual trust, shared values and common interests provides a strong foundation to working together even more closely”.

“The two Prime Ministers earlier had a telephonic conversation on 6th April 2020, where they discussed the ongoing COVID-19, including facilitation and support for citizens stranded in each other’s country. There is an Indian Diaspora, which has contributed significantly to the linkages between the two countries. During the telephonic conversation, PM Scott Morrison spoke of the Indian community, including Indian students being valued as a vibrant part of the Australian society,” The Ministry of External Affairs said on Wednesday.

“The Strategic Partnership between the two countries was strengthened in 2014 – with the visit of Prime Minister Tony Abbott to India in September 2014, and the visit of PM Modi to Australia in November 2014. Framework for Security Cooperation between Australia and India signed in November 2014 during the visit of PM Modi to Australia laid the foundation for intensified foreign, defence and security policy exchanges between the two countries. Since then, regular meetings of the institutional dialogues have been taking place,” the statement said.

“Economic engagement has been growing. In 2018-19, the trade between the two countries was around US$ 21 billion. Australia’s cumulative investment in India is about US$ 10.74 billion whereas India’s total investment in Australia is US$ 10.45 billion. Australian Super Pension Fund has invested US$ 1 billion in India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund. The two countries are looking at stepping up investments and trade with each other,” it said.

As two democratic nations, India and Australia have developed an understanding of each other’s perspectives on regional and global issues. We have a shared approach to a free, open, inclusive, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.