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Oz PM to address captains of Indian industry

New Delhi, Oct. 16 (ANI): Australian Prime Minister Julia Gilard will address captains of Indian industry on Wednesday at Hotel Taj Mansingh in New Delhi.

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma will also address the event.

Trade between Australia and India dates back to late 18th century and early 19th century When coal from Sydney and horses from New South Wales were exported to India.

As of 2010, bilateral trade between the two countries totalled 18.7 billion dollars, having grown from Australian dollars 4.3 billion in 2003.

This is expected to rise to touch the 40 billion dollar mark by end of 2016.

Trade is highly skewed towards Australia. Australia mainly exports Coal, non-monetary Gold and Copper Ore and agricultural goods to India, while India’s chief exports are pearls, precious and semi-precious stones, textiles and clothing.

Over 97,000 Indian students enrolled in Australia in 2008, representing an education export of Australian dollars two billion.

As far as diplomatic relations between the two countries is concerned, India first established a trade Office in Sydney, Australia, in 1941.

With both countries being members of the Commonwealth group of nations, their envoys are addressed as high commissioners. India has a high commission in Australian capital Canberra, and two consulates in Sydney and Melbourne.

Australia has a high commission in New Delhi and consulates in Mumbai and Chennai.

Both nations are founding members of the United Nations, and members of regional organisations including the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation and ASEAN Regional forum.

Australia has also traditionally supported India’s position on Arunachal Pradesh, which is claimed by China. (ANI)