At India-Australia summit, PM Modi says early conclusion of CECA important for economic security

Published on Mar 21, 2022 01:11 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the mechanism of annual summit will help prepare a structural system for regular review of our relations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australia PM Scott Morrison.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australia PM Scott Morrison.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday expressed delight over setting up a mechanism for the annual summit between India and Australia. Speaking at an open session of the India-Australia virtual summit, PM Modi said that the mechanism will help prepare a structural system for regular review of our relations.

Prime Minister also thanked his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, for the initiative to return the ancient Indian artefacts which he inspected ahead of the virtual summit. As many as 29 antiquities, primarily sculptures and paintings executed in a variety of materials, have been repatriated to India. The artefacts belong to six broad categories on the themes of ‘Shiva and his disciples’, ‘Worshipping Shakti’, ‘Lord Vishnu and his forms’, Jain tradition, portraits and decorative objects.

Morrison talked about the threat of increasing change in the Indo-Pacific region in the wake of Russia's aggression in Ukraine. In an apparent reference to China's aggressive posture in the region, the Australian Prime Minister said the call by Quad leaders to discuss “Russia's unlawful invasion of Ukraine” also gave the opportunity to discuss the “implications and consequences of that terrible event for our own region” in the Indo-Pacific and the “coercion and the issues that we face here.”

Prime Minister Modi, however, didn't refer to the Russian invasion and focussed his remarks on the shared values and “remarkable progress” made by the two countries in various sectors.

"Trade and investment, defence and security, education and innovation, science and technology - in all these sectors we have very close cooperation,” he added.

The Prime Minister stressed the importance of an early conclusion of a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), saying it will be "crucial for our economic relations, economic revival and economic security."

"There is also a good collaboration going on between us in Quad. Our cooperation reflects our commitment to free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific," he said.

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Friday, August 19, 2022
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