Published On: Mon, Apr 10th, 2017

Press Statement by PM Narendra Modi during the visit of Australian PM to India

Waters of the Indian Ocean remind us of our linked histories: PM Modi

His Excellency Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull,
Members of Media, 

Excellency,

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Waters of the Indian Ocean remind us of our linked histories: PM Modi

I am delighted to welcome you on your first ever visit to India. Just last month, we witnessed a thrilling conclusion to the Border-Gavaskar trophy. In my speech at the Australian Parliament in 2014 I had spoken of legendary Bradman and Tendulkar. Today, Virat Kohli in India and Steven Smith in Australia are shaping the young brigades of cricket. I hope your visit to India is as productive as it has been for Steven Smith’s batting, the other Australian Captain.

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I vividly recall our meetings on the sidelines of G-20. They have always reflected a strong sense of convergence and purpose. I particularly appreciate your active interest in advancing the substance of our engagement. The journey of our cooperation is firmly on course. Under your leadership, our relationship has touched new milestones. And, your visit gives us an opportunity to shape new priorities in our strategic partnership.

Excellency, 

The waters of the Indian Ocean remind us of our linked histories. They are also a pointer to our connected destinies. The values and principles of democracy and rule of law are common to both our nations. Today, the vast scope of opportunities in our ties is defined by a strong desire for economic prosperity by 1.25 billion people of India, and Australia’s capacities and strengths.

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In our discussions today, Prime Minister and I reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations. We took a number of forward-looking decisions to further strengthen our partnership, including the decision to soon hold the next round of negotiations on our Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. In a lighter vein I am, of course, glad that our decisions are not subject to the D.R.S. review system.


Friends, 

Both India and Australia recognize the central value of education and innovation in the prosperity of our societies. It is no surprise, therefore, that cooperation in the field of education and research is one of the most important aspects of our engagement. Prime Minister and I have just inaugurated the TERI-DEAKIN Research Centre on Nano and Bio Technology, which is a classic example of the kind of cutting-edge science and technology cooperation that is happening between our two countries. The Australia-India Research Fund of nearly 100 million dollars has focused on collaborative research projects in the areas such as nano-technology, smart cities, infrastructure, agriculture and disease control. Our joint development of bananas fortified with Vitamin A has entered the phase of field trials. Our scientists are also collaborating on developing more nutritious and hardy varieties of pulses. These are just two examples of our outstanding scientific cooperation firmly rooted in tangible outcomes that will improve the lives of millions including our farmers. I also extend a warm welcome to the large delegation of Vice Chancellors and Heads of Vocational Training Institutions that is accompanying Prime Minister. A number of institution-to-institution tie-ups have been concluded during this visit. Student exchanges are an important element of bilateral education cooperation. Australia is home to more than 60,000 Indian students. Increasing number of Australian students are coming to study in India. Responding to the aspirations of India’s youth, building world class institutions in India is one of the objectives of my government. Prime Minister Turnbull and I discussed ways by which Australian Universities could connect and contribute to this goal.

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