- India signed a historic trade agreement with Australia, the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (Ind- Aus ECTA).
- India is one of Australia’s most important Indo-Pacific partners.
- Trade-in Goods, Rules of Origin.
- Trade-in Services.
- Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT).
- Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures.
- Dispute Settlement, Movement of Natural Persons.
- Telecom, Customs Procedures.
- Pharmaceutical products and Cooperation in other Areas
Indian investment in Australia
- India’s Oswal Group (ammonia plant)
- Sterlite Industries (copper mines;
- Aditya Birla Group (copper mines);
- Gujarat NRE Co. (coal mines);
- Asian Paints;
- Reliance has entered into a partnership agreement with Uranium Exploration;
- IFFCO and Legend Holdings of Australia have entered into an agreement
- TATAs have enhanced their investment in a mining joint venture (led by Vale of Brazil) in Queensland.
- Tata Power and Australian company Geodynamics have agreed.
- The Adani Group of India, owners of the country’s largest private port have acquired a coal mining prospect from Linc Resources in the Galilee Basin in Queensland.
All the major Indian IT companies have a presence in Australia and are rapidly growing. These include Infosys; Satyam Mahindra; TCS; HCL; Polaris Software Lab Ltd; Birlasoft; NIIT; ICICI Infotech; Wipro; Mahindra-British Telecom Ltd; i-Flex; gate; among others. Satyam Mahindra has the largest product development centre outside India in Melbourne.
At present, there are no direct flights from Australia to India. Tourism is growing rapidly; 1,65,500 Australian tourists visited India in 2010 and 1,38,700 Indian tourists visited Australia in 2010.
The Important Pillars Of Relationship
- The Australia-India Council (AIC) was established on 21 May 1992 in response to a recommendation by the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, following an inquiry into Australia’s relations with India.
- AIC broadens the relationship between Australia & India raising awareness & promoting exchanges.
- The Australia-India education partnership is important in driving engagement, collaboration and building the bridge between our communities.
- Unique among India’s education partners Australia has a ministerial lead policy forum, the Australia India Education Council (AIEC), which provides a platform for ministerial engagement on policy and operational issues across education.
- The AIEC is co-chaired by education ministers from both countries and includes representatives from government, academia and industry.
- Australia and India have a positive defence relationship, underpinned by the 2006 Memorandum on Defence Cooperation and the 2009 Joint Declaration on Security Co-operation.
- Security Cooperation the defence relationship has grown to include a range of forums for strategic dialogue, as well as regular interactions between our respective services through senior visits, staff talks, and training exchanges.
- The Australian Government’s overseas aid program advances Australia’s national interest by assisting developing countries to reduce poverty and achieve economic development.
- Australia does not have a bilateral development cooperation program with India, Australia provides support through our global and regional aid investments and technical assistance activities.
India-Australia: Trade & Investment
- Australia is India’s eighth-largest trading partner and India is Australia’s fifth-largest.
- India’s ranking among Australia’s export destinations has risen from twelfth to fourth in the period 2003-04 to 2009-10.
- India’s main service exports to Australia are computer and information services and tourism.
- Main Australian service exports to India are education, education-related travel, and tourism.
- India is Australia’s largest export market for gold and chickpeas, the second-largest market for coal and copper ores, and the third-largest market for lead and wool.
- Four products – coal, non-monetary gold, copper ores & concentrates, and petroleum – accounted for over 80 per cent of India’s imports from Australia, with coal and gold being the dominant imports in 2010-11.
- India’s major exports to Australia in 2010-11 were pearls and gems, jewellery, medicaments, and passenger motor vehicles.
- The India-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission was established in 1989 and has held thirteen meetings to date, the last one in Canberra on 12 May 2011.
- After the JMC, the two sides agreed to commence negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), which has now begun.
- The signing of five Action Plans in 2008, in the areas of coal, mining, power, petroleum & natural gas and new & renewable energy is significant, underlining the importance of the natural resources sector in the bilateral engagement.
History of India-Australia relations
- India and Australia have commercial ties dating back to the 18th century when India played a central role in nourishing the young colony.
- Trade with Australia came to be an important element in the operations of the East India Company in Bengal.
- For the next half-century, Australia’s most immediate and direct links were with India rather than London, as bureaucrats, merchants, chaplains, and judges moved between the two colonies.
- India was an important source of food and provisions for Australia; by 1840 a ship was leaving Sydney for India roughly every four days, and merchants in Calcutta grew rich from supplying the new outpost.
- At the beginning of the 19th century, several British colonial families from India made a life for themselves in the new Australian colonies.
- Australia and India established diplomatic relations in the pre-Independence period when the Consulate General of India was first opened as a Trade Office in Sydney in 1941.
- India’s first High Commissioner to Australia arrived in Canberra in 1945. In March 1944, Lieutenant-General Iven Mackay was appointed Australia’s first High Commissioner to India.
- The Consulate General of India in Melbourne was opened in 2006. The Consulate General of India in Perth was inaugurated in October 2011.
India and Australia cooperate in various multilateral forums
- Australia supports India’s candidature in an expanded UN Security Council.
- Both India and Australia are members of the G-20, Commonwealth, IOR-ARC, ASEAN Region Forum, and Asia Pacific Partnership on Climate and Clean Development, and have participated in the East Asia Summits.
- Both countries have also been cooperating as members of the Five Interested Parties (FIP) in the WTO context.
- Australia is an important player in APEC and supports India’s membership in the organization.
- In 2008, Australia became an Observer in SAARC.
India-Australia Defence cooperation
MoU on Defence Cooperation has been signed as well as a Joint Declaration on Security cooperation was signed.
- The Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region in Gurugram is an Indian initiative to boost maritime security and response through the exchange of information related to the ships in the Indian Ocean Region.
2. Strategic Dialogue
- In June 2020, Australia and India decided to upgrade their Secretaries 2+2 dialogue (Defence and Foreign Affairs) to the Ministerial level.
- Ministers from the two countries will meet at least every two years to engage in the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
- The two leaders of the countries have established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
3. Exercise Malabar
- Australia participated in the MALABAR NAVAL Exercise in October 2020, joining India, the United States, and Japan.
- The exercise brought together four regional defence partners and democracies, demonstrating a collective resolve to support an open and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
- High-end military exercises like MALABAR are also key to enhancing all the countries’ maritime capabilities and building interoperability with close partners.
- Engagement between the Royal Australian Navy and the Indian Navy has advanced significantly through the key bilateral exercise, AUSINDEX.
- The third edition of the biennial exercise saw Australia send its largest-ever defence deployment to India, including four ships, Australian Army forces, and RAAF aircraft, comprising more than 1000 Australian personnel.
5. Pitch Black
- For the first time, the Indian Air Force participated in Exercise Pitch Black in Darwin in 2018.
- Australia’s multilateral exercise involves air forces from several Australian allies and partner countries.
- India’s participation was additionally significant for staging the first mid-air refuelling of an IAF combat aircraft (Su-30MKI) by a RAAF aircraft (KC-30A), revealing a degree of coordination not previously demonstrated.
6. Mutual Logistic Support Arrangement (MLSA) and Defence Science & Technology Implementing Arrangement (DSTIA)
- Australia and India concluded the Mutual Logistic Support Arrangement (MLSA) in 2020 during the virtual summit between Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Narendra Modi.
- The agreement facilitates more sophisticated operational cooperation, enabling increasingly complex military engagement, and greater combined responsiveness to regional humanitarian disasters.
- The Defence Science and Technology Implementing Arrangement (DSTIA) facilitates interaction between our defence research organizations, both of which have made important contributions to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
7. Shared Military Platforms
- Australian and Indian militaries have become increasingly interoperable through the growing number of shared platforms, thereby increasing opportunities for joint training.
- These include C-17 strategic transport aircraft, C-130 tactical transport aircraft, P-8 maritime reconnaissance aircraft, and Chinook heavy-lift helicopters.
8. Training exchanges
- Australia and India build links between our defence forces through regular personnel and training exchanges, such as short specialist courses and longer-term positions.
- Every year, Australia sends officers to attend India’s premier military educational institutions: India’s Defence Services Staff College, and it’s National Defence College.
- India also sends three officers to study in Australia annually, at Australia’s Command and Staff College and the Defence and Strategic Studies course.
9. Australia-India Council
- The Australia-India Council (AIC) broadens the relationship between Australia & India raising awareness & promoting exchanges.