Canberra: The Scott Morrison government is investing over $280 million to boost cooperation with India, to further grow its economic relationship and support jobs and businesses in both countries, the Australian government said in a press statement on Tuesday.
In 2020, India was Australia's seventh-largest trading partner, with two-way trade valued at $24.3 billion, and the sixth-largest goods and services export market, valued at $16.9 billion. In 2020, India was Australia's third-largest market for services exports.
The Australian government said it will provide additional investment in the relationship including $16.6 million to strengthen linkages with India's key policy and finance institutions as part of the Update to the India Economic Strategy to 2035. They will also provide $8.9 million to support enhanced business engagement and an increased Austrade presence in India.
India and Australia held a virtual leaders meeting on Monday, 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.
According to the government release, $35.7 million will be given 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 will be allotted to expand the Australian Space Agency's International Space Investment initiative to deepen space cooperation with India. Nearly $28.1 million will be allocated to launch a Centre for Australia-India Relations to deepen community ties, promote public discussions and policy dialogue, and engage the Indian diaspora.
Australia's 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," 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."
He also said the Australian 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.
Furthermore, the Australian government today published 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," 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.