Significant progress has been made on the agreement in a very short time, PM Modi said

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that closing of the India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement is very important for economic relations, economic revival and economic security of the two countries.

In his inaugural speech at the 2nd India-Australia Virtual Summit that he held with Australian PM Scott Morrison, PM Modi said that significant progress has been made on CECA in a very short time and that remaining issues will also be agreed upon soon.

“During our last virtual summit, we had given our relationship the form of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. And I am happy that today we are establishing the mechanism of Annual Summits between the two countries. This will create a structural system of regular review of our relationship,” said Modi in his speech.

Noting that India-Australia relations have made remarkable progress in the last few years, he said, in areas of trade and investment, defense and security, education and innovation, science and technology, we have very close cooperation.

“Our collaboration has grown rapidly in many other areas, such as critical minerals, water management, renewable energy, and Covid-19 research,” Prime Minister Modi stated.

“I heartily welcome the announcement of setting up of Center of Excellence for Critical and Emerging Technology Policy in Bangalore. Better cooperation between us is essential in cyber and critical and emerging technologies,” he noted.

“It is the responsibility of countries with similar values ​​like ours to adopt appropriate global benchmarks in these emerging technologies,” PM Modi added.

Reiterating what Australian PM’s mentioned about CEPA, he said, “I also want to see that significant progress has been made on this in a very short time. I am sure that the remaining issues will also be agreed upon soon. The closing will be very important for our economic relations, economic revival and economic security,” he argued.

“We have good cooperation going on in Quad as well. This collaboration of ours reflects our commitment to free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. The success of the Quad is critical to regional and global stability,” PM Modi further said.

India- Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

The India-Australia bilateral relationship has evolved in recent years, developing along a positive track, into a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2020.

Australia's White Paper on Foreign Policy released in November 2017 sees India in the front rank of Australia’s international partnerships.

Prime Minister Modi had held a bilateral meeting on September 23, 2021 with PM Morrison in Washington DC on the sidelines of the Quad Leaders’ Summit.

The Prime Ministers also met on November 1, 2021 in Glasgow on the sidelines of CoP26 Climate Summit.

The Prime Ministers of both the countries had held a Virtual Leaders’ Summit (VLS) on 4 June 2020.

In addition to a Joint Statement on a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, the Prime Ministerial Summit delivered eight landmark agreements/MoUs to drive cooperation with Australia.

It included:

* Joint Declaration on a Shared Vision for Maritime Cooperation in the Indo - Pacific

* Arrangement concerning Mutual Logistics Support (MLSA)

* Framework Arrangement on Cyber and Cyber-Enabled Critical Technology Cooperation

* MoU on Cooperation in the field of Mining and Processing of Critical and Strategic Minerals

* Implementing Arrangement concerning cooperation in Defence Science and Technology to the MoU on Defence Cooperation

*.MoU on Co-operation in the field of Public Administration and Governance Reforms

* MoU on Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training

* MoU on Water Resources Management

In recent months, the two Prime Ministers have also addressed high-profile events organized in each other's countries.

PM Morrison addressed the Bengaluru Tech Summit on 17 November 2021, where he announced the new Australia-India Centre of Excellence for Critical and Emerging Technology Policy and the intention to establish a new Consulate General in Bengaluru.

PM Modi delivered the keynote address at the Sydney Dialogue, on India’s technology evolution and revolution on November 18, 2021.