INDIA, AUSTRALIA TO EXPLORE NEW INITIATIVES
Why in news?
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his visiting Australian counterpart Richard Marles will explore new initiatives to further expand bilateral defence engagements
- The two ministers will also exchange views on regional and global issues of shared interest.
- The India-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership is based on a shared vision of “free, open, inclusive and prosperous” Indo-Pacific region.
- “India and Australia share a comprehensive strategic partnership since June 2020 and defence is a key pillar of this partnership.
- India-Australia has a very strategic partnership with each other in terms of trade, security, education, and so on.
- India and Australia have commercial ties dating back to the 18th century when India played a central role in nourishing the young colony.
- Trade with Australia came to be an important element in the operations of the East India Company in Bengal.
- Australia supports India’s candidature in an expanded UN Security Council.
- Both India and Australia are members of the G-20, Commonwealth, IOR-ARC, ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia Pacific Partnership on Climate and Clean Development, and have participated in the East Asia Summits.
- Both countries have also been cooperating as members of the Five Interested Parties (FIP) in the WTO context.
- Australia is an important player in APEC and supports India’s membership in the organization.
- In 2008, Australia became an Observer in SAARC.
- The India-Australia defence relationship now encompasses almost every major function of the military: strategic dialogues, coordination, and information exchanges; military exercises involving ground, air, and maritime forces; exchanges and training; and defence scientific and technological cooperation.
- Australia participated in the MALABAR naval exercise in October 2020, joining India, the United States, and Japan.
- Engagement between the Royal Australian Navy and the Indian Navy has advanced significantly through the key bilateral exercise, AUSINDEX.
Australia is India’s eighth largest trading partner and India is Australia’s fifth-largest.