Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Modi-Morrison Summit: Australia to invest Rs 1500 crores

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison Monday held a virtual summit, wherein the two leaders reviewed the progress on various initiatives under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. 

PM Modi expressed satisfaction with the increase in cooperation between the two countries in areas such as critical minerals, water management and renewable energy.

“Our collaboration reflects commitment to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. Early conclusion of talks for Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement is the key for economic ties,” PM Modi said.

“In our last virtual summit, we had given our relationship the form of a comprehensive strategic partnership. I am happy we are establishing a mechanism of the annual summit between the two countries,” he added. 

The two leaders also discussed the Ukraine crisis. However, the highlight of the summit was Australia’s commitment to invest Rs 1,500 crore in India in technology, critical minerals, mobility and education. This is said to be the largest investment by Australia in India. 

Reports say that of the total amount, Rs 193 crore will be for clean tech and critical minerals, which will be used by India for securing coal, lithium and other minerals from Australia.

The latter has large reserves of lithium and can be a reliable supplier of the mineral – a major component for electric vehicles and batteries. 

Among others, Rs 152 crore will be on enhancing bilateral trade, Rs 136 crore on space cooperation, Rs 97 crore on skill development and innovation, and Rs 93 crore on scientific innovation.

The two countries will also launch scholarships on the lines of Fulbright or Rhodes, which will be called Maitri scholarships, according to reports. 

An agreement to broadcast Indian programmes in Australia is also on the cards. Reports say there will be another agreement to establish a task force on recognition of each other’s educational qualifications, which will facilitate easier movement of students and skilled professionals between the two countries. 

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