His Excellency Prime Minister Tony Abbott Friends from Media
I thank Prime Minister Abbott, the people and the Federal and the State Governments of Australia for a wonderful visit so far.
Prime Minister Abbott and I have spent the last week together – at the East Asia Summit, the G20 and for this bilateral summit. This reflects the broad framework of our relationship, defined by a growing partnership in the cause of a peaceful and prosperous world, and a strong and broad-based bilateral relationship.
This is a natural partnership, arising from our shared values and interests, and our strategic maritime locations.
India and Australia have a great economic synergy. There are huge opportunities for partnership in every area we can think of – agriculture, agro-processing, resources, energy, finance, infrastructure, education, and science and technology.
The economic climate in India has changed. I believe it will be a lot easier to convert opportunities into concrete outcomes. Prime Minister Abbott and I discussed what we should do to impart real momentum to our economic partnership.
Reconstituting the CEO Forum is an important step. We have agreed to speed up negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. I also asked for easier access for Indian business to the Australian market and quicker investment approvals.
India will hold a ‘Make in India’ show in Australia in 2015. Australia would also be holding Business week in India in January 2015. We also agreed on seeking early closure on the civil nuclear agreement, which will give Australia a chance to participate in one of the most secure and safe nuclear energy programme in the world. Cricket and hockey are natural glue between our people. I know yoga is enormously popular here. We need to connect our people more. I am pleased with the new Cultural Exchange Programme signed today. India would establish a Cultural Centre in Sydney by February 2015. We plan to hold a Festival of India in Australia in 2015 and tourism weeks in Australia.
The Social Security Agreement is a really positive development. It will help in making our business relations stronger, especially in the Services Sector.
I greatly welcome the New Framework for Security Cooperation. Security and defence are important and growing areas of the new India-Australia partnership - for advancing regional peace and stability, and combating terrorism and trans-national crimes.
This morning's visit with Prime Minister Abbott to the Australian War Memorial reminded us of the need to strive together for a better world. In conclusion, I would like to say that it has been nearly three decades since the last Prime Ministerial visit from India. The fact that we have exchanged visits in two months is a sign of better times to come.
I am deeply honoured by the opportunity to speak to the Parliament and also look forward to spending the evening at the Melbourne Cricket Ground with Prime Minister Abbott.
Thank you once again.