Australian PM praises Modi's 'extraordinary journey of growth and development'

Nick Mcbride
April 19, 2017

With a little help from the star power of Sachin Tendulkar, Malcolm Turnbull has wrapped up what he describes as a very productive visit to India.

A Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), negotiations for which were launched almost six years ago, will not be signed during Turnbull's visit, with officials saying that both sides continue to have concerns that are yet to be addressed.

Mr. Modi welcomed the passage of the Civil Nuclear Transfers to India Act in the Australian Parliament, opening up opportunities for Australia to support Indian energy generation.

The key counter-terrorism pact was inked between the Indian Home Ministry and its counterpart in Australia as both the Prime Ministers witnessed the signing at the iconic Hyderabad House in Delhi.

Turnbull added that the negotiators will report back as soon as possible, "so that we can keep the focus on delivering the CECA and identifying the areas where more work needs to be done".

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will begin a four-day visit to India on April 9.

In addition to this, lack of a commercial contract between the two countries has not allowed Australia to supply uranium to India, even after the two nations signed a civil nuclear cooperation three-year ago.

His predecessor Tony Abbott had visited India in September 2014 and this was followed by Prime Minister Modi's visit to Australia in November that year.

One MoU was signed on cooperation in fighting worldwide terrorism and organised crime.

Modi joked about the ongoing IPL in his speech and said, "I hope your visit to India is as productive as it has been for Steven Smith's batting, the other Australian Captain".

Bilateral trade with India has doubled over the past decade to around $20 billion, Turnbull also said, but that was a fraction of what it could and should be. "We also agree that strong regional institutions are necessary for peace, prosperity and a sense of balance in the region", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his statement after the signing of agreements between the two countries. Following the official talks, both dignitaries inaugurated by video conference TERI-Deakin Nano Biotechnology Center in the northern state of Haryana.

External Affair Minister Sushma Swaraj also called on the visiting dignitary.

Other reports by VgToday

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