India and Australia today decided to launch negotiations for civil nuclear pact during the talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Australian counterpart Julia Gillard.
The two leaders also
agreed to hold annual meetings at the summit level to launch a
Ministerial-level Dialogue on Energy Security, start negotiations for an
Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons, apart from inking four
The two Prime Ministers held "substantive discussions on
measures to give greater content" to bilateral relations, after which
Singh said "relations between India and Australia are characterised by
expanding trade and investment, defence cooperation, education and
cultural linkages and people-to- people interaction".
also developing wide-ranging cooperation in defence and security issues,
including the fight against terrorism, in all of which we regard
Australia as an important partner," he said in his statement to the
Announcing the decision to begin negotiations for an
Agreement on Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation, which will precede actual
cooperation, Singh said the Australian Labour Party has articulated a
new policy on uranium sales to India.
"This is recognition of
India’s energy needs as well as of our record and credentials and I have
expressed to Prime Minister Gillard our India’s appreciation of this
development," he added.
Singh also said that during the talks
they have agreed to hold annual meetings at the summit level, either
bilaterally or during multilateral events.
The four MoUs inked in
the presence of the two Prime Ministers included cooperation in the
field of wool and woolen products, cooperation in student mobility and
welfare and cooperation in civil space science, technology and
Welcoming the progress made since the relationship was
raised to the level of a strategic partnership in 2009, Singh and
Gillard agreed to provide high-level "political oversight" to this
process through annual Prime Ministerial meetings.
On trade and
economic front, they noted that trade between both countries had more
than doubled in the past six years to over USD 20 billion and welcomed
the progress towards a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement
(CECA) to facilitate greater trade and investment links.
is great potential to further strengthen India- Australia bilateral
trade and investment relations which continue to show robust growth. Our
bilateral trade in goods was USD 17.4 billion in 2011-12 while India’s
investments in Australia are at almost USD 11 billion," Singh said.
renewed the commitment of both countries for achieving an equitable,
comprehensive and high-quality agreement," a joint statement said.
also noted the potential to further develop and diversify commercial
relations and that this would be supported by the conclusion of the MoU
on Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters
which would enable effective enforcement of customs laws and facilitate
Australia's supplies of energy and mineral
resources to India have been rising steadily and it welcomed the
interest of both private and public sector companies from India in the
resources sector, the joint statement said.
Agreeing that India
and Australia should collaborate more closely on the common challenge of
managing scarce water resources, they announced a Water Technology
Partnership under which Australia and India would share technologies to
build capacity to better manage this vital natural resource.
Noting the ongoing work of the Joint Working Group on counter-terrorism, India and Australia recommitted to close collaboration against the threat of terrorism.
to work together closely to fight organised crime, the two Prime
Ministers noted these efforts would be supported by the MoU on narcotics
to be concluded by both the countries.
They also announced the
commencement of negotiations towards a MoU on the movement of persons
which will promote dialogue on the regular movement of professional
labour and combat irregular migration.
India and Australia, as
Chair and Vice Chair respectively of the Indian Ocean Rim Association
for Regional Cooperation, will work closely to strengthen the
Association through concrete steps in the six priority areas of maritime
security and piracy, fisheries management, disaster risk reduction,
tourism and cultural exchanges, academic and S&T cooperation and
trade and investment facilitation.
"Both the countries look
forward to taking this collaboration within the Association to a deeper
level during the 12th Council of Ministers meeting in Gurgaon on 2
November 2012," the joint statement said.
Singh also said he
conveyed to Prime Minister Gillard India's country's appreciation of the
steps being taken by her government to address the issues affecting
Indians and Indian students in Australia, which have had a salutary
"I have no doubt that our understandings, as reflected
also in the agreements that have just been signed, herald a phase of
more intense and structured cooperation between our two countries,"
India, Aus Decide to Launch Negotiations for Nuke Pact
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