Opening remarks - Bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of India

24 May 2023
Admiralty House, Sydney
Prime Minister, Prime Minister of India

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: Prime Minister, I'm absolutely delighted to welcome you here, formally now, to Australia. Of course, you got a welcome from about 20,000 people last night that was extraordinarily warm and the energy and affection in the room was obvious to all who were there, and all who witnessed it. Can I say that following the discussions in Tokyo with Quad leaders, when we first met a year ago, it seems like it has gone very quickly. So this is our sixth meeting now in just my first year of my prime ministership. And it says a lot about the friendship between Australia and India that that has happened. Can I say that the relationship between Australia and India has shown its strength over the coming year. I welcome the finalisation of our Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement. And I also very much welcome the Australia-India green hydrogen taskforce that we are establishing to expand our cooperation on the global clean energy transition. I was very pleased last night to launch the operations of the Centre for Australia-India relations that will be based in Parramatta here in Western Sydney. This month, Australia will open a new Consul-General in Bengaluru, our fifth diplomatic presence in India. It was wonderful last night to celebrate the Australian-Indian community in such a warm way. The community here are a very important part of our vibrant multicultural democracy. And I'm looking forward to returning to India in just a few months for the G20 meeting. My ministers are regularly visiting India for the G20 discussions that have taken place across the full range of portfolios which are there. Sir, you were such a generous and warm host in March. I hope that we're returning some of that hospitality that I was able to receive. And on a personal level, can I thank you for the very warm friendship that we've established between ourselves as well as between our nations.

NARENDRA MODI, PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA: Thank you to Australia for extending a warm reception welcome and respect for me and my delegation. Yesterday, you completed one year of your term - and despite being extremely busy, you took time out to participate in the Indian community event. And not just yourself, you brought the senior members of your team to this location. It really has enhanced the respect for you in India. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your presence yesterday. It is also a matter of satisfaction that Little India was inaugurated yesterday through your administration's support. With this, the respect for Australia and yourself has enhanced in India and in the people of India. I once again thank you for that. It is a clear message of the multicultural values of Australia to the entire world, the multicultural values of Australia in the Indian community has enhanced because of that. Last year we met in Tokyo. It was just two days after you took over your administration. It reflected the concerns and your commitment to the global issues. Since 2014, our bilateral partnership has reached new heights. We have many high-level engagements between our two countries. India, under its G20 Presidency, is hosting a lot of meetings. We have already done 100 different meetings in 100 different places in India, in which Australia has participated positively, and I thank you for that as well. I thank you for the annual summit that you organised in March this year during your visit. We're also signing a migration and mobility partnership agreement, which I believe will further strengthen the people-to-people links between our two countries. Besides students and professionals, it will also lead to more contact between our businesses. Our relations will be further strengthened by the new Indian consulate we are opening in Brisbane. I thank you for the agreement for the same and I understand a similar initiative is being taken by Australia in Bangalore. Yesterday, I interacted with top CEOs from Australia, and I could see the optimism and excitement they have for India. Today I'm also going to participate in a business roundtable. We will look forward to greater Australian investment in India. India will soon become the third-largest economy in the world. We are creating a favourable ecosystem for attracting more investment in India, in fields such as electronics, defence and other sectors, and I think that there is huge potential for further cooperation between India and Australia, between our private sectors. The CEO forum organised during your visit recently to India was also a very positive development. In the Indo-Pacific, we can work together, to make a free, open, rules-based and prosperous Indo-Pacific. Once again, I thank you for the warm welcome and reception extended to me and my delegation.