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Australia pledges $25 million aid to India

The two countries would be signing an MoU to foster research cooperation in biotechnology.

india Updated: Mar 06, 2006 18:14 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Prime Minister John Howard on Monday announced a $25 million dollar aid to India over the next five years for bilateral collaboration through the Strategic Research Fund and Exchange Scholarships.

The two countries would be signing an MoU to foster research cooperation in biotechnology, the visiting premier said, addressing Indian industry captains at a conference organised by business chambers CII, FICCI and Assocham.

Mentioning that Australia has become a hot favourite among Indian tourists and entertainment industry, Howard said: "To facilitate this growth, I am pleased to announce that the Australian government will allow Indian citizens to access our tourist e-visa scheme".

Referring to the large global increase in demand for energy like LNG and tight international resources, he said: "I am encouraged that we are working on these issues."

The establishment of the Australia-India Joint Working Group on Energy and Minerals would be an "important vehicle to address trade and investment issues in the sector, exchange information on policy developments and identify possible commercial outcomes".

"Our trade relationship is still maturing, and much more could be done to further facilitate and diversify two way trade and investment," Howard said.

He further added that relaxation of barriers that hinder free flow of goods and investment would allow markets to prosper and expand the economic complementarities between the two countries.

First Published: Mar 06, 2006 18:14 IST