Albanese heads to India with high hopes – on and off the pitch

Anthony Albanese is jetting off to India in a bid to bowl over New Delhi and boost the bilateral relationship.

Mar 08, 2023, updated Mar 08, 2023
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Source: AAP / MICK TSIKAS/AAPIMAGE

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Source: AAP / MICK TSIKAS/AAPIMAGE

The prime minister will lead a delegation of Australia’s top business people as well as trade and resources ministers as the federal government attempts to increase economic and security partnerships with India.

The delegation includes representatives from sectors including mining, energy, aviation, education and finance.

Discussions are set to focus on renewable energy and defence co-operation.

Commonwealth Bank CEO Matt Comyn said the trip provided a significant opportunity to build on already strong economic ties with India being Australia’s sixth-largest trading partner and fourth-largest export market.

“Australia and India have enjoyed strong economic, social and cultural ties going back over many decades,” he told AAP.

“We have many shared interests in working together even more closely, especially in sectors such as digital technologies, financial services, education and renewable energy.”

The prime minister says there is room to improve the relationship with both nations sharing a rich history.

“We’re bound by our democratic values and enlivened by genuine friendship,” he said.

“But also … a fierce sporting rivalry,” he said, hoping that his Indian tour fares better than the Australian cricket team.

Albanese is also hoping for a smoother ride than his first trip three decades ago.

“The first time I went there was with a backpack in 1991, catching buses, hitching rides, catching trains,” he said.

“It will be a lot different this time, I suspect.”

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton also lauded not only the strong defence and trade ties, but also the people-to-people links that have emerged between the two nations.

The prime minister will visit Mumbai, New Delhi and Ahmedabad and attend the fourth Test between the two nations alongside his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

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