Investing in the Australia-India relationship

  • Media release

The Morrison Government is investing over $280 million to boost cooperation with India, to further grow our economic relationship and support jobs and businesses in both countries.

India is already an important economic and security partner in the Indo-Pacific. In 2020, India was Australia’s seventh largest trading partner, with two-way trade valued at $24.3 billion, and sixth largest goods and services export market, valued at $16.9 billion. In 2020, India was Australia’s third largest market for services exports.

As part of the Update to the India Economic Strategy to 2035 launched today, the Government will provide additional investment in the relationship including:

  • $16.6 million to strengthen linkages with India’s key policy and finance institutions.
  • $8.9 million to support enhanced business engagement and an increased Austrade presence in India.

Overnight Prime Ministers Morrison and Modi held a Virtual Leaders Meeting, where Australia committed:

  • $17.2 million to extend the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund to continue supporting a world-class relationship and establish an Australia-India Innovation and Technology Challenge.
  • $35.7 million for a Green Steel Partnership, a Critical Minerals Research Partnership, and a contribution to the International Energy Agency to support cooperation on research, production and commercialisation of clean technologies, critical minerals and energy.
  • $25.2 million to expand the Australian Space Agency’s International Space Investment initiative to deepen space cooperation with India.
  • $28.1 million to launch a Centre for Australia-India Relations to deepen community ties, promote public discussions and policy dialogue, and engage the Indian diaspora.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan said the Morrison Government was investing to grow the Australia-India economic, trade and investment relationship.

“India and Australia share common values, complementary economies and strong people-to-people links that make us ideal partners,” Mr Tehan said.

“Our partnership with India is vital as we both strive for stronger, sustainable economic growth and more secure and diversified trade and investment patterns and supply chains.

“The Government remains committed to the India Economic Strategy and its ambitious goals: to lift India into our top three export markets by 2035, and to make India the third largest destination in Asia for outward Australian investment.

The Update represents a five-year action plan that responds to the evolving opportunities for both countries, building on Australia’s traditional strengths and forging new partnerships in emerging areas of cooperation such as critical minerals; cyber and critical technology; science and innovation.

The Government today also publishes the Australia’s Indian Diaspora, a national asset report which highlights the contribution Australia’s Indian diaspora communities are making to Australian society.

“Australia’s Indian community is young and highly educated and well represented across services and STEM sectors with strong export potential,” Mr Tehan said.

“Indian diaspora networks can make important contributions to our trade and investment relationship with India, and also to Australia’s international competitiveness generally.”

The Indian diaspora is Australia’s fastest growing large diaspora community. The Indian-born population became Australia’s second-largest overseas-born migrant group behind the UK-born at 721,050-strong in 2020.

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