Australia to ramp up India economic ties –

Australia and India’s trade agencies will sign an agreement in the next 12 months aimed at boosting investment between the two nations.

The step comes after the federal government backed a report outlining how Australia can strengthen its economic ties with India between now and 2035.

The report, authored by former foreign affairs boss Peter Varghese, was endorsed by the coalition on Thursday during a visit to Australia by Indian President Ram Nath Kovind.

“This report provides a road map for our economic future with India,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement.

“India is the world’s fastest growing major economy and offers more opportunity for Australian business over the next 20 years than any other single market.”

The government is providing in-principle support to the 20 priority recommendations in the paper, released in April.

That means during the next 12 months Austrade and Invest India will sign a Memorandum of Understanding focused on promoting bilateral investment flows.

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An Australia-India food partnership will also be established, opening up new opportunities for Australia’s agritech and service companies.

A mining partnership between the nations will be expanded, and Australia will work with airlines to increase flights to India.

The distribution of $500,000 worth of grants by the Australia-India research fund is also among the initial steps the government has committed to.

Mr Morrison is meeting President Kovind in Sydney on Thursday and said he is keen to discuss how they can continue to enhance their economic ties.

The pair are due to address the Australian Financial Review India Business Summit later in the afternoon.

Federal Labor said it is glad the government is finally committing to taking actions recommended by Mr Varghese’s report, after sitting on them for seven months.

© AAP 2018

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