Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese expressed his honour to host Prime Minister Narendra Modi and emphasised the shared commitment between the two countries towards a stable, secure, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
He also expressed his anticipation for celebrating Australia’s vibrant Indian community with Prime Minister Modi during their meeting in Sydney on Tuesday. Prime Minister Modi is visiting Australia as a guest of the Australian Government from May 22-24. Prime Minister Modi’s last visit to Australia took place in 2014.
In a statement, Prime Minister Albanese acknowledged the warm welcome he received during his visit to India earlier this year and expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to reciprocate the hospitality.
The Australian Prime Minister highlighted the shared commitment between Australia and India to a stable, secure, and prosperous Indo-Pacific, particularly in light of China’s aggressive behaviour and expanding influence in the region.
Albanese said, “I am honoured to host Prime Minister Modi for an official visit to Australia, after receiving an extremely warm welcome in India earlier this year. Australia and India share a commitment to a stable, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific. Together we have an important role to play in supporting this vision.”
He emphasised the strong friendship and partnership between the two countries, expressing his eagerness to celebrate Australia’s vibrant Indian community alongside Prime Minister Modi in Sydney.
Prime Minister Modi reciprocated the sentiment, expressing his anticipation for the bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Albanese on May 24. He emphasised the importance of taking stock of the bilateral ties and building upon the successful India-Australia Annual Summit held in New Delhi earlier in March this year.
PM Modi on May 19 said, “I look forward to our bilateral meeting, which will be an opportunity to take stock of our bilateral ties and follow up on our first India-Australia Annual Summit held in New Delhi in March this year.”
The Australian government stated that Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Australia builds upon the discussions held at the Australia-India Annual Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi in March, as well as recent engagements at the G7 Summit and Quad Leaders’ meeting in Hiroshima.
The bilateral meeting between the leaders will cover various topics, including trade and investment, with a focus on enhancing trade through a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. They will also discuss strengthening people-to-people links, renewable energy, and defence and security cooperation.
Additionally, Prime Minister Modi will meet with Australian business leaders to further advance the growing trade and investment relationship between the two countries, building upon the opportunities presented at the Australia-India CEO Forum held in Mumbai in March.
During Prime Minister Modi’s community event, it is expected that the suburb of Harris Park in Greater Western Sydney will be officially known as ‘Little India’, as sources have indicated. This announcement will be made as part of the Prime Minister’s visit.
According to the 2016 census by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are 619,164 individuals in Australia who identify with ethnic Indian ancestry, making up 2.8% of the Australian population. Among them, 592,000 were born in India.
In related news, Prime Minister Albanese expressed his anticipation of visiting India in September to attend the G20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi. The G20 is a premier forum for economic cooperation.
The Indo-Pacific region encompasses the Indian Ocean, the western and central Pacific Ocean, and the South China Sea. The U.S., India, and other global powers have emphasised the importance of maintaining a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific, given China’s increasing military activities in the region, which is vital for global trade.
China claims a significant portion of the disputed South China Sea, although Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam also have claims over parts of it. China has constructed artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea.