New Delhi : It is a great honour and pleasure to receive Excellency Mr Dutton, Minister of Defence for Australia and his high-level delegation on his first official visit to India. His visit to India, along with her Excellency, Marise Payne, Foreign Minister of Australia, despite the COVID-19 global pandemic, shows the abiding commitment of Australia to our bilateral relationship.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have had a very fruitful and wide-ranging discussion with Minister Dutton on our bilateral defence cooperation as well as regional issues. Both of us are keen to work jointly to realise the full potential of the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. This partnership is based on our shared vision of free, open, inclusive and rule-based Indo-Pacific region. Both, Australia and India have tremendous stakes in peace, development and free flow of trade, rules-based order and economic growth in the region.
Our discussions today focused on our bilateral defence cooperation and expanding military engagements across Services, enhancing defence information sharing, cooperation in emerging defence technologies and mutual logistics support.
Both sides noted with happiness that Australia joined the Malabar Exercise in 2020. In this context we also expressed satisfaction in the continued participation of Australia in Malabar Exercise this year.
I apprised Minister Dutton about our recent efforts towards “Atmanirbhar Bharat” and growing innovation ecosystem in India. We discussed opportunities to work together in Defence Science and Technology areas.
I invited Australian industry to take advantage of India’s liberalised foreign direct investment policies in the defence sector. We both agreed that there are opportunities of bilateral collaboration for co-development and co production.
India is committed to building a robust partnership with Australia for security and growth of the entire region. I look forward to working with you, Excellency, to take the India Australia defence partnership to greater heights.