Australia set to supply uranium to India

Prime Minister Turnbull's visit to India is an attempt to change gears, especially in the context of China's aggressive pitch to step into the void created by the new USA administration's Americafirst withdrawal from active engagement across the Pacific.

The much-touted India and Australia civil nuclear deal, which was signed in 2014, has also failed to take off with delay in the uranium shipments from there.

This was one of the six agreements, including one pertaining to "civil aviation security", which were signed in the presence of the two PMs at Hyderabad House.

It was an entirely vegetarian fare at the lunch hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull on Monday.

Laying stress on students exchanges between the two countries, Modi said that while Australia was home to over 60,000 Indian students, an increasing number of Australian students was coming to study in India.

While trade between India and Australia has doubled over the past decade to around US$20 billion (S$28.1 billion), said Mr Turnbull, this was a fraction of what it could and should be. The multilateral trade agreement includes 10 countries, including Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

In the meantime, both sides are working to identify tangible, commercial opportunities to strengthen two-way trade and investment and this would be a particular focus of his visit to Mumbai this week, he added.

According to the joint statement issued after the meeting of both leaders: "RCEP can provide a boost to regional economic confidence in a time of global uncertainty - but to do so it needs to deliver commercially meaningful outcomes for business". "Our ties. will be stronger because of this visit", he said. They also welcomed a decision of holding the first bilateral Army-to-Army exercise, which will take place in 2018.

After the talks, PM Modi said, "Our bilateral mechanisms on counter-terrorism and transnational crimes are functioning well". Thereafter, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on him.

Mumbai, Apr 11 Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today lauded the "ambitious" reform agenda of the Modi government, especially on taxation that has made the duty regime more efficient.

  • Todd Kelly