Australia launches India economic strategy update, energy to be priority area

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Australia has launched an update on India’s economic strategy

The Australian government launched its economic strategy update for India at an event in Mumbai on Thursday. Energy, science and innovation are key priority sectors, particularly with the strong growth of bilateral Australian-Indian relations through the Quad (a strategic dialogue on security between Australia, India, Japan and the United States).

“The government is committed to becoming one of its leading economic partners. We are pleased to launch India’s economic strategy update tonight. Thanks to my friend Ambassador @anilwad (Anil Wadhwa) – a tireless advocate for the relationship – for being there,” Australian High Commissioner to India Barry O Farrell AO tweeted.

The launch of the update comes just days after the historic Australia-India Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreement (AI-ECTA) was signed on April 2. At the event, questions were asked about the extent to which this would also help India diversify its oil imports as prompted by the United States, also a Quad member.

“And (the United States) also makes it clear that we stand ready to support India in any effort to diversify its imports and serve as a reliable supplier, even if they only import about 1-2% of their oil from Russia,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday.

Responding to a question on the matter, Mr Farrell told NDTV: “Collectively through the Quad we are working on climate change issues and reducing dependency. But, specifically between India and Australia through solar panels and low cost solar panels, where we have a partnership. Whether it’s with initiatives in green hydrogen where we have an Indian company and an Australian company where they share the technology between them. Together we can fight climate change.

Former diplomat Anil Wadhwa said, “I think there are two specific sectors we are talking about. One is of course the LNG (liquefied natural gas) that Australia has. Since we have reduced duties on these products, LNG from Australia would become cheaper to import. It will open a way. »

“We also have ports on the east coast of India that are currently developing. The network is being built as we speak. This will notably facilitate the import of LNG from Western Australia. Then we talk about power grids in which the two countries have synergy, so this agreement will also help to create this synergy and bring businesses closer together. The third aspect concerns renewable energies, in which Australia and India are already working together. Our companies are also in Australia and some Australian companies also work here. As we move forward in this agreement, investments will become much easier. We are working on all three aspects and as far as India’s refined oil exports are concerned, these will also increase because the duties on this have also been lowered in ECTA,” he added. .

According to the Australian government, the update which was launched on Thursday provides a plan to deepen ties. The Australian government has announced over A$280 million (Rs 1,500 crore) in new initiatives since November 2021 to build ties across the breadth of the relationship and support India’s leadership in the region. AI-ECTA aims to double bilateral trade and Australia’s goal is to have India in its top three export markets by 2035 and become Australia’s third largest investment destination in Asia.

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