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Opinion

How India and Australia have raised their ties – analysis

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The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership agreed by India and Australia at Thursday’s Virtual Leaders Summit has been in development for a decade. The increased cooperation between our countries and the trust between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Scott Morrison made it possible to take our partnership to the next level.

We have built a lasting and future relationship. India and Australia are natural partners, well positioned to build a safer and more prosperous future for the people themselves, the Indo-Pacific and the world at large.

The Integral Strategic Association reflects a historical high point in our relationship. Elements include maritime defense and security, cybersecurity and technology, science and research, and critical supply chains.

The results of the Virtual Leaders Summit reflect our shared goals for a more open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific and a world of stronger institutions equipped to support the interests of all states, economic growth and human development. This is even more important as we face the challenge of coronavirus disease (Covid-19). It is remarkable that our leaders have set such an ambitious agenda during these difficult times.

It reflects the irreversible forces that unite India and Australia, what I call the 4 ‘D’s. First, democracy, which reflects our shared democratic values. The world and the region are best served by democracies working together to build a more inclusive, open and development-friendly international system.

Second, defense: a shared commitment to a more peaceful and secure Indo-Pacific backed by sovereign rights for all states, international law, and a region that avoids “power is right.”

Third, the diaspora: As President Ram Nath Kovind said during his visit to Australia in 2018, India sees her diaspora as a “living bridge” between our countries, and Australia values ​​its migrants as critical to their success and prosperity. Australia’s growing Indian diaspora, and Australian, Indian companies, students and researchers, are the living bridge that unites our countries.

And fourth, and above all, dosti – what Australia calls mateship; A true friendship and understanding between Australia and India, and our people. the dosti between Australia and India is symbolized by the close personal connection between our PM. Prime Ministers Morrison and Modi exchanged tweets over the weekend after Scott Morrison did Samosas that he wished he could have shared with his Indian counterpart.

The four “Ds” are propelling us into a future relationship. At the Virtual Summit, MPs announced agreements covering a wide range of key areas for peace and prosperity: Maritime Defense and Security, Critical and Cyber ​​Technology, Critical Minerals, Education, Water and Public Administration and Governance.

The leaders’ agreement on critical minerals is an example of growing trade and investment ties. There is the potential for joint investment and development of critical mineral supply chains, which can support “Make in India” in new and emerging technologies. Australia can supply India with seven of the 12 key critical minerals for future industries, including antimony, cobalt, lithium and rare earth elements.

We finalized a Framework Agreement on Cyber ​​Cooperation and Critical Cyber ​​Technologies. Our innovators are already working well together to develop new products and services to make Australians and Indians more prosperous and safer. We have fueled cooperation in science and research, each including pledging $ 3 million for a dedicated round of the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund seeking solutions to Covid-19’s many challenges, building on existing collaboration between our scientists and companies. pharmaceuticals on the development vaccine.

We continue to make great progress in defense and maritime security. During the Virtual Summit, Australia and India finalized a Mutual Logistics Support Agreement, an Defense Science and Technology Implementation Agreement and a Joint Declaration on a Shared Vision for Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. Our advocacy activities have quadrupled since 2014 and these agreements are stepping stones to more complex commitments that advance our shared strategic objectives for the region.

Democracy, defense, diaspora and dosti – Australia and India have created a partnership well suited to the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly contested and complex Covid-19 world. It is one in which partnerships between democracies like India and Australia, geared towards the common good of the global community, have never been more important.

Barry O’Farrell is Australian High Commissioner for India

The opinions expressed are personal.

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