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Australian PM lauds India as driver of innovation, new technology hours ahead of arrival in Ahmedabad

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese will watch the opening day of the fourth Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday (Image courtesy: Twitter/@stephendziedzic)

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese labeled India as “a driver of new technology and innovation” and called Prime Minister Narendra Modi “a strong supporter” of shifting the energy focus as he left Perth for Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

Albanese’s March 8–11 visit at the invitation of PM Modi will be the first visit by an Australian Prime Minister to India since 2017.

He will be accompanied by 25 senior business leaders from Down Under, CEOs of major Australian corporations, leaders of universities, leaders of IT companies, resources, and other companies “who want to improve the relationship” with India.

On Thursday, Albanese will join Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the opening day of the fourth Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, an event which is expected to get a record-breaking crowd with the presence of two leaders.

He will then travel Mumbai and New Delhi in a bid to further deepen the strategic, economic and people-to-people ties between the two countries regarded as close friends and partners.

Anthony Albanese
A file image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on the sidelines of the Quad Leaders’ Summit in Tokyo, last year (Image courtesy: PIB)

“We have an historic opportunity to strengthen our relationship with India, at a time of extraordinary growth and dynamism in our region,” the Australian PM said before his departure from Perth earlier today.

Calling it an “important visit”, the trip, he said, demonstrates Australia’s commitment to deepening links with India, and to being a force for stability and growth in the region.

“Australia and India have a rich friendship, underpinned by common interests, shared democratic values, the bonds between people, and an affectionate but fierce sporting rivalry,” he added.

India is currently Australia’s sixth largest trading partner, but Albanese insists that the partnership could be much larger in the future as there’s no single major market out to 2035 with more growth opportunities for Australian business than India.

“Here in Western Australia we see the importance of the Indian Ocean. The truth is that India, along with Indonesia, will grow to be the third and fourth largest economies in the world in coming years. That presents an incredible opportunity for Australia.”

With both India and Australia showing considerable importance on renewable energy, the Australian PM did not rule out a trilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden on the issue in near future.

“I’ll be meeting with President Biden in the United States. We’ll have further announcements about details soon about the arrangements that will be taking place.”

As reported by IndiaNarrative.com earlier, India and Australia are already taking their Comprehensive Strategic Partnership to a new level with extensive collaboration to identify opportunities for strategic investment in Australian critical minerals projects.

“We will be talking about the new industries and opportunities that Australia has, whether it be provision of lithium and other materials that are important for the shift to renewables. The growth of areas like green hydrogen present enormous opportunities. India is a driver of new technology and innovation. And there is a great scope for Australia and India to cooperate as we both transition for clean energy from an assist on trade,” said Albanese on Wednesday.

The growing India-Australia partnership is not just about trade but also security in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Operation Malabar will be hosted by Australia for the first time. It will be important, and those security relationships are also something that I will be having discussions with Prime Minister Modi on,” said the Australian PM.

With India hosting the G20 meeting and Australia the Quad Leaders’ meeting, both Prime Ministers are expected to continue the engagement over the year.

First up though on Thursday would be the India-Australia Test match where both leaders will showcase the shared passion for cricket as a hallmark of long-standing friendship between the two countries.

Also Read: PM Modi and Australian Premier to watch Ahmedabad Test in celebration of cricket diplomacy