24th November 2020
Both leaders discusses bilateral trade (Sources: Business Standard)
On 19 November, Thursday, 2020, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that his country firmly intends to take its bilateral relations with India to new heights by working together in frontier technologies. He said that the two countries have limitless possibilities of working together in space research, critical minerals, AI, 5G, quantum computing, and far more. This message was relayed out during the Bengaluru Tech Summit via video-conference. The landmark Australia - India Technology Framework on cyber and cyber-enabled technology was signed between the two countries too.
The theme of the summit is ‘Next is now’, directed towards pondering on the critical challenges emerging in the post-pandemic world. Scott Morrison, the Australian Prime Minister, also highlighted that Australia and India are working together for an open, free, safe and secure internet. He further said they're going to soon launch the Australia-India Cyber and Important Technologies Partnership grant program. He expressed pride for leading a robust virtual delegation of 150 Australian policymakers, industry leaders, start-ups and world-leading institutions to the Bengaluru Tech Summit. Morrison also talked about Bengaluru- India's biggest technology cluster and the fourth biggest in the world, calling it the "home to a 3rd of India's tech professionals and a minimum of 25 Australian companies" and added that "it is pulsing with energy and ambition and it's an area where it is easy to believe that 'Next is Now'."
In Modi’s opening remarks, he said that he believed that it's the "perfect time and excellent opportunity" to strengthen the connection between India and Australia further. "We have immense possibilities to form our friendship stronger," Modi said, adding, "How our relationships become a 'factor of stability' for our region and for the planet, how we work together for global good, all of these aspects have to be considered." Prime Minister Modi also said that India was committed to expanding its relations with Australia on a broader and faster pace, noting that it's essential not just for the two countries, but also for the Indo-Pacific region and therefore the world. "The role of our comprehensive strategic partnership is going to be more important during this period of a worldwide epidemic. The world needs a coordinated and collaborative approach to urge out of the economic and social side effects of this epidemic," he said. It was the first time that Modi held a 'bilateral' virtual summit with a far-off leader. The relationship between the two nations was upgraded to a 'Strategic Partnership' level in 2009. Since then, both countries have expanded their cooperation in a range of key areas.
(Sources: The Diplomat, Indian express, Economic Times, The Print)
Edited by: Suditi Jha