At the invitation of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of Australia the Hon’ble Anthony Albanese MP, paid a State Visit to India from 8 to 11 March 2023. Prime Minister Albanese was accompanied by Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator the Hon’ble Don Farrell, Minister for Resources, the Hon’ble Madeleine King MP, a high-level official delegation and a large business delegation. Prime Minister Albanese visited Ahmedabad, Mumbai and New Delhi on his first bilateral visit to India.
2. Reaffirming the strength of the multifaceted bilateral ties that have deepened under the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership established in June 2020, and based on the foundation of mutual trust, shared democratic values, common interests and strong people-to-people ties, both Prime Ministers held the 1st Annual Summit in New Delhi on 10 March 2023. Both Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the rapid expansion of bilateral relations facilitated by frequent high-level contact and exchange of Ministerial visits, which have further strengthened and deepened cooperation across a diverse range of areas, including political and strategic, defence and security, trade and investment, education and research, agriculture and water, cyber and space, mining and critical minerals, climate change and renewable energy, and mobility of people. Welcoming the sustained momentum in bilateral and multilateral cooperation, the Prime Ministers agreed that the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was beneficial not only for both countries but also for an open, inclusive, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific, where the rules-based international order is upheld.
3. Prime Minister Albanese expressed Australia’s strong support for India’s G20 presidency and its priorities for the forum in 2023. The Prime Ministers looked forward to India’s successful G20 presidency this year, and reiterated their commitment to work closely on issues of global interests and shared priorities to realise inclusive, ambitious, decisive and action-oriented outcomes, in areas such as achieving the Sustainable Development Goals; technological transformation; inclusive and resilient growth; green development, climate finance and LiFE (Lifestyle for the Environment); reinvigorated multilateralism; reforms and international cooperation; mainstreaming gender equality and advancing women’s empowerment and inclusive leadership. Prime Minister Albanese congratulated the leadership of Prime Minister Modi on India’s G20 presidency. Prime Minister Modi briefed Prime Minister Albanese on India’s hosting of the Voice of Global South Summit to hear the ideas of the developing world in health, food security, affordable access to energy, climate finance and technologies and economic growth.
Economy, Trade and Investments
4. The Prime Ministers welcomed the strength of the economic relationship and committed to further developing trade and investment ties and fostering ongoing economic cooperation.
5. The Prime Ministers welcomed the entry into force of the landmark India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) on 29 December 2022 and emphasised the significant opportunities to diversify and expand two-way trade. They also noted with satisfaction the resolution of the long-standing issue of taxation of offshore income of Indian firms under the India-Australia Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA). They looked forward to greater two-way trade and business engagement under ECTA, thereby further strengthening existing people-to-people links and cultural exchange.
6. The Prime Ministers welcomed progress in negotiations building on the foundation laid by the ECTA, including new areas of trade, investment and cooperation. The Prime Ministers looked forward to swift progress in negotiations and for an early conclusion of an ambitious Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), to realise the full potential of the bilateral economic relationship, thus creating new employment opportunities, raising living standards and improving the general welfare of the peoples of both countries.
7. The Prime Ministers welcomed the convening of the India-Australia CEO Forum and encouraged businesses on both sides to cultivate links; explore emerging economic and investment opportunities, including as an outcome of ECTA, and to leverage the significant complementarities of the two economies. They agreed that Australia’s comparative strength in raw materials, critical minerals and innovative research coupled with India’s scale, market size and low-cost manufacturing space can lead to fruitful and mutually beneficial outcomes through partnerships between Indian and Australian companies.
8. The Prime Ministers highlighted the significance of robust bilateral trade and investment flows through diversified, transparent, open, secure, inclusive and predictable global supply chains. In this regard, they welcomed initiatives to strengthen regional cooperation through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) between India, Australia and Japan, and decided to further strengthen cooperation in these areas.
9. The Prime Ministers noted that future industrial security and decarbonisation efforts require access to critical minerals and their reliable processing and availability. They reiterated their shared commitment to building secure, resilient and sustainable critical minerals supply chains essential to, inter alia, clean energy, electric vehicles, semiconductors, aerospace and defence. They expressed satisfaction at the progress under the Memorandum of Understanding between India’s Khanij Bidesh Ltd. (KABIL) and Australia’s Critical Minerals Office and looked forward to the continued development of critical minerals supply chains.
10. The Prime Ministers acknowledged the challenging headwinds facing the global economy, including geopolitical conflict, elevated energy prices, the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, inflation pressures and fragmented supply chains. The Prime Ministers affirmed their shared commitment to supporting economic growth, diversification of supply chains and strengthening the rules-based multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its core. They emphasised the importance of implementing all 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) outcomes including on reform, particularly to have a fully and well-functioning dispute settlement system by 2024.
11. The Prime Ministers acknowledged that greater cooperation and engagement in agriculture is important, particularly in areas such as innovation, climate-smart agriculture and open trade, all of which support global food security. As such, the Prime Ministers welcomed the finalisation of market access for Australian Hass avocadoes to India and Indian okra to Australia.
Climate, energy, science and technology, and research cooperation
12. The Prime Ministers recognised the urgent need to address climate change, implementing the Paris Agreement and delivering on the outcomes of COP26 in Glasgow and COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, and to accelerate efforts for ambitious global climate action, particularly in the Indo-Pacific. The Prime Ministers noted the importance of ensuring efforts to address climate change are inclusive and gender-responsive.
13. The Prime Ministers underscored their commitment to encourage climate action in accordance with each country’s Nationally Determined Contributions while ensuring energy security, job creation, poverty reduction and continuing international collaboration, including through the Quad, the G20, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the International Solar Alliance (ISA). In this context, they reaffirmed the importance of mindful consumption, more sustainable lifestyles and reducing waste. Prime Minister Albanese welcomed Prime Minister Modi’s outline of his call for environmentally-conscious sustainable lifestyles through the LiFE Movement. Prime Minister Modi welcomed Prime Minister Albanese’s outline of the forthcoming roadmap for the India-Australia Industry and Research Collaboration for Reducing Plastic Waste initiative, focused on plastic waste reduction and circular economy cooperation.
14. The Prime Ministers welcomed continued progress under the India‑Australia Energy Dialogue. The Prime Ministers noted the existing collaboration between the two countries on solar photovoltaic (PV) and hydrogen, two technologies that are critical to Australia and India’s energy transition goals. The Prime Ministers welcomed the appointment of Co-Chairs on both sides to the India-Australia Solar Taskforce, which will advise on opportunities to accelerate solar PV deployment and enhance supply chains. The Prime Ministers also acknowledged the proposal to establish an India-Australia Hydrogen Task Force.
15. The Prime Ministers highlighted the importance of opportunities for two-way investment in grid infrastructure and the entire spectrum of renewable energy technologies, including large scale generation, storage, green hydrogen and critical minerals/battery supply chain investment and research and development. Given these broad areas for future collaboration, the Prime Ministers also agreed to work towards elevating our bilateral cooperation to a Renewable Energy Partnership, noting that cooperative initiatives will reduce renewable energy costs and support the energy transition for Australia and India.
16. Welcoming progress in cooperation in the areas of science, technology, innovation and research between the two countries, the Prime Ministers welcomed Round 15 of the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF). They committed to further intensify this cooperation. The Prime Ministers also announced the India-Australia Innovation and Technology Challenge, building on the success of the inaugural India-Australia Circular Economy Hackathon in 2021, and welcomed the signing of a supporting Letter of Intent between CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency, and Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, for greater collaboration in fostering innovation.
17. Recognising the importance of space, the Prime Ministers agreed to strengthening cooperation in multilateral fora, including the United Nations, for the safe, sustainable and secure use of space. The Prime Ministers recalled the participation of Australia as a Partner Country in the 7th Bengaluru Space Expo and expressed their belief that more India-Australia collaboration in the field of space should be fostered, including scientific research, space applications and production and launch of satellites. The Prime Ministers also announced the first round of Australia’s India-focused International Space Investment grants program, designed to foster closer bilateral collaboration on mutually beneficial space research and development projects. The Prime Ministers underlined Australia’s ongoing support of India’s Gaganyaan Space Program.
18. India and Australia looked forward to deepening their engagement within the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), particularly to enhance resilience of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Both countries will channel their pledged A$10 million through the Infrastructure Resilience Accelerator Fund (IRAF) launched at COP-27 to support SIDS under Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS) initiative of CDRI. They also discussed exploring further collaboration in research and investments in renewable energy technologies, which are going to be critical to achieving global net zero emissions, while ensuring economic growth. Prime Minister Albanese looked forward to cooperation with India through the India-Australia Minerals Scholar Network, to develop an ecosystem of technical talent across both nations, with expertise in green steel and critical minerals. The Network would support India’s emergence as a renewable technology manufacturing powerhouse and Australia’s goal of becoming a renewable energy superpower.
19. The Prime Ministers, in view of the common challenges being faced by both countries on account of limited quantum of freshwater availability and competing sectoral demands, emphasised the need for sustainable water management. They expressed satisfaction at the initiatives being undertaken under the umbrella of Joint Working Group for Water Resources Management through technical exchanges and execution of demonstrative projects leading to institutional capacity building for meeting the challenges of water sector.
Defence and Security Cooperation
20. The Prime Ministers welcomed sustained progress under the defence and security pillar of the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and discussed ways to further enhance it. Recognising the increasingly uncertain global security environment, the Prime Ministers underscored their unwavering commitment to strengthening the India-Australia defence and security partnership to address shared challenges, and work towards an open, inclusive, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
21. The Prime Ministers supported the convening this year of the 2+2 Defence and Foreign Ministerial Dialogue and the meeting of the Defence Ministers which would enhance mutual understanding and coordination of engagements between the two countries. The Prime Ministers recognised the growing complexity and frequency of defence exercises and exchanges between the two countries and acknowledged the increasing interoperability between the respective forces through implementation of the India-Australia Mutual Logistics Support Arrangement. They welcomed the arrangements between the two countries for enhancing Maritime Domain Awareness in the Indian Ocean region, increased defence information sharing and consolidation of mutual access that continue to deepen operational defence cooperation.
22. The Prime Ministers agreed that, as a practical step, India and Australia may continue to explore conduct of aircraft deployments from each other’s territories to build operational familiarity and enhance maritime domain awareness.
23. In recognition of India and Australia’s robust maritime partnership, the Prime Ministers welcomed that Australia would host Exercise MALABAR in 2023 for the first time. The Prime Ministers agreed this would bolster interoperability between participating navies.
24. The Prime Ministers underscored the importance of regular exchanges between defence forces in building interoperability. The Prime Ministers welcomed the commencement of the inaugural landmark General Rawat India-Australia Young Officer Defence Exchange Programme from 1 March 2023. The 15-day programme, with participation of 15 officers from each of the two countries, is currently underway in India. Australia looks forward to hosting Indian Armed Forces officers in 2024.
25. The Prime Ministers highlighted the significance of defence industry, research and material cooperation between the two countries and acknowledged the progress achieved under the Joint Working Group to enhance cooperation in these areas. They expressed satisfaction at the visit of an Australian delegation to Indian defence corridors in 2022 and underscored the need for boosting connections between Indian and Australian defence industrial bases.
26. The Prime Ministers strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and emphasised the need for strengthened international cooperation to combat terrorism in a comprehensive and sustained manner, and to combat all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism or provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups, whatever their motivation may be. They called upon all countries to work together to root out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupt terrorist networks and their financing channels and halt use of terrorist proxies and cross-border movement of terrorists. They reiterated their condemnation of terrorist attacks in India and Australia, including the Mumbai and Pathankot attacks.
27. The Prime Ministers emphasised the importance of perpetrators of terrorist attacks being systematically and expeditiously brought to justice, and agreed to work together to take concerted action against globally proscribed terrorist entities and individuals, and closely work together in the common fight against global terrorism including through combating the financing of terrorism; monitoring and preventing illicit financial flows, money laundering and hawala; sharing intelligence and cooperating in investigative and judicial processes; countering radicalization and violent extremism; preventing misuse of modern technologies, including misuse of the internet for terrorist and violent extremist purposes; acting against internationally designated entities and violent extremist purposes; and acting against internationally designated entities and individuals.
28. The Prime Ministers reiterated the urgent need for all countries to take immediate, sustained, verifiable and irreversible action to ensure that no territory under their control is used for terrorist attacks, and to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks. They expressed their commitment for working together to promote accountability for the perpetrators of such terrorist attacks, including through designations by the UN Security Council 1267 Sanctions Committee. They emphasised the need to bring perpetrators of terrorism to justice.
29. Prime Minister Albanese commended India’s hosting of the Special Session of the Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC) of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in Mumbai and Delhi on 28 and 29 October 2022, during which all Council members collectively paid homage to the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, wherein 166 nationals, including 2 Australians, had lost their lives. Prime Minister Albanese also acknowledged the adoption of the "Delhi Declaration on countering the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes” at the Special Session of the CTC of the UNSC. In this regard, he noted with appreciation the UNSC PRST adopted under India’s Presidency of the UNSC in December 2022, which condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and called on all Member States to deny safe havens to terrorists. He also expressed his appreciation at the holding of the Third Ministerial conference on "No Money for Terror” (NMFT) in November 2022 in India. They expressed satisfaction at their respective countries’ engagements in counter-terrorism efforts bilaterally and agreed to coordinate their efforts in the Quad consultations and multilateral fora.
30. Recalling the India-Australia Framework Arrangement on Cyber and Cyber-enabled Critical Technology Cooperation and Plan of Action signed by Foreign Ministers on 4 June 2020, both sides appreciated the progress achieved in deepening the bilateral cyber cooperation.
31. The Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the deep and vibrant people-to-people ties between the two countries, which is energised by the 976,000 Australians of Indian descent, and agreed to further strengthen this special bond. The Prime Ministers agreed on the importance of protecting the safety and security of the Indian community in Australia, and ensuring continued harmony.
32. The Prime Ministers noted the significant progress in the ongoing negotiations on a Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement (MMPA) which will strengthen people-to-people ties and reinforce economic linkages. The Prime Ministers tasked the concerned officials on both sides to expedite the conclusion of an ambitious and balanced MMPA within the next three months, which will promote and support the mobility of students, graduates, academic researchers, business people and other professionals now and into the future, while also enhancing cooperation on issues pertaining to irregular migration.
33. Noting the value Australia places on the sizeable Indian student community in Australia, Prime Minister Albanese conveyed to Prime Minister Modi that his Government would facilitate the efficient and timely processing of student visa applications for Indian nationals who are offered admission by Australian universities and other vocational training institutes. The Prime Ministers directed their concerned officials to operationalise the Work and Holiday Arrangement agreed between India and Australia under ECTA, including exploring opportunities in both directions. Prime Minister Albanese noted Australia is committed to expanding its visa processing capability in India to enhance the immigration relationship.
34. The Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of the India-Australia Audiovisual Co-Production Agreement supporting skilled jobs, creative exchange, and the development of screen projects of cultural significance in both countries, the renewal of the MoU on Cooperation in Sports, and the Government of Victoria’s decision to showcase Kabaddi ahead of the 2026 Commonwealth Games. Prime Minster Albanese briefed Prime Minister Modi about the launch of the Maitri Cultural Partnerships grants, and the commencement of operations of the Centre for Australia-India Relations in Australia in 2023.
35. The Prime Ministers emphasised the need for close collaboration between higher education and skilling sectors of the two countries and welcomed ongoing efforts to establish collaboration in education programmes including Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in both countries. Noting the importance of education and skill exchange for both countries as a means of enhancing opportunities for learners to access higher education, The Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of the Mechanism for Mutual Recognition of Qualifications and reaffirmed the Australia-India Future Skills Initiative to strengthen education ties and support Australian education and skill training in India. They acknowledged the progress made by Australian universities towards establishing a presence in India to further foster India and Australia’s educational links.
36. Both Prime Ministers agreed that India and Australia should continue to promote cooperation across democratic institutions, including parliament and the judiciary.
Regional and Multilateral Cooperation
37. The Prime Ministers renewed their commitment to supporting an open, inclusive, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific where sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected. They reiterated the importance of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.
38. The Prime Ministers underlined the importance of being able to exercise rights and freedoms in all seas and oceans consistent with international law, particularly the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), including freedom of navigation and overflight. They reiterated the importance of adherence to international law, particularly UNCLOS, to meet challenges to the maritime rules-based order, including in the South China Sea. They underscored the importance of disputes being resolved peacefully in accordance with international law without threat or use of force or any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo, and that countries should exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that could complicate or escalate disputes affecting peace and stability. They called for any Code of Conduct in the South China Sea to be effective, substantive and fully consistent with international law, without prejudice to the legitimate rights and interests of any state, including those not party to these negotiations, and support existing inclusive regional architecture.
39. The Prime Ministers reiterated their commitment to strengthening cooperation through the Quad. They looked forward to continuing to work together with Quad partners in the Indo-Pacific, to advance their shared vision for a region that is free, open, inclusive and resilient, and to deliver on commitments from the 2022 Quad Leaders’ Summit. This includes practical cooperation in areas such as health security, climate change and energy transition, sustainable infrastructure and connectivity, debt transparency and sustainability, space cooperation, cyber security, humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR), maritime security, counter-terrorism, critical and emerging technologies and education. Prime Minister Albanese looked forward to working closely with India to advance the Quad’s positive and practical agenda, including welcoming Prime Minister Modi to Australia for the 2023 Quad Leaders’ Summit.
40. The Prime Ministers welcomed progress on IPEF, which will seek to strengthen regional economic cooperation and integration to address new and emerging opportunities and challenges in the Indo-Pacific, including in supply chains and the clean energy transition. They appreciated the Quad’s ongoing efforts to implement the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) initiative, which will help enhance maritime domain awareness and support regional partners to counter challenges such as Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and to respond to climate and natural disasters.
41. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to ASEAN centrality and the ASEAN-led regional architecture, including working closely together through the East Asia Summit (EAS). They noted the close cooperation between India and Australia under the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) aimed at better management of shared maritime domain by enhancing cooperation in preserving maritime ecology, reducing the impact of marine pollution, ensuring sustainable use of marine resources and reducing the impact of climate change. In this regard, they agreed to continue their close cooperation under various multilateral mechanisms such as ISA, Coalition for Disaster Resilience Infrastructure (CDRI), EAS and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
42. The Prime Ministers pledged to strengthen cooperation in the Pacific in line with the needs and priorities of Pacific island countries. They affirmed the centrality of the Pacific Islands Forum and its 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent in addressing regional challenges. Prime Minister Albanese recognised India’s role in extending development partnership to Pacific island countries through the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) framework.
43. The Prime Ministers recognised their shared commitment to an Indian Ocean region that was open, stable, prosperous, and respectful of sovereignty. Prime Minister Albanese noted India’s long-standing regional role in an increasingly contested maritime domain and reiterated the importance of Australia’s maritime partnerships in the Northeast Indian Ocean. The Prime Ministers welcomed cooperation within the India-Australia-France and India-Australia-Indonesia trilateral groupings.
44. The Prime Ministers expressed their deep concern at the deteriorating situation in Myanmar and called for an immediate cessation of violence, the release of all those arbitrarily detained, access for humanitarian assistance, resolution of issues through dialogue and transition towards an inclusive federal democratic system in Myanmar. They reaffirmed their support for ASEAN-led efforts in addressing the crisis in Myanmar and called for the full implementation of ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus.
45. The Prime Ministers expressed concern about the conflict and humanitarian situation in Ukraine, reiterating the need for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a peaceful resolution to the conflict. They reiterated that the conflict was causing immense human suffering, exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economic system.
46. The Prime Ministers condemned North Korea’s continued destabilising ballistic missile launches, which violate relevant UNSC resolutions (UNSCRs). They urged North Korea to comply with its obligations under relevant UNSCRs and reaffirmed their commitment to the complete denuclearisation of North Korea.
47. The Prime Ministers reiterated support for bilateral nuclear cooperation and commitment to further strengthening global non-proliferation objectives. Prime Minister Albanese congratulated India on assuming the chairmanship of the Wassenaar Arrangement and reiterated Australia's strong support for India's membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and appreciation for India’s participation in the Australia Group as its most recent member. Prime Minister Albanese provided Prime Minister Modi with an update on the development of the Australia-UK-US (AUKUS) partnership. Prime Minister Albanese also reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to not develop nuclear weapons and uphold the highest standards of non-proliferation.
48. Referring to the recently concluded two-year tenure of India in UNSC during 2021-22, Prime Minister Albanese congratulated India for its significant contributions to the agenda of the UNSC, including through themes like Maritime Security, Counter Terrorism, Technology and Peacekeeping and Strengthening the Multilateral System. In this regard, Prime Minister Albanese appreciated Prime Minister Modi presiding over a UNSC High-Level Open Debate on 'Enhancing Maritime Security — A Case for International Cooperation' under India’s Presidency of the UNSC in August 2021, during which the UNSC unanimously adopted for the first time a Presidential Statement with a holistic view on maritime security. The Prime Ministers reiterated their unwavering support for the UN Charter, including its three pillars, and their steadfast commitment to strengthening the UN and international system through a comprehensive reform agenda, including through expansion in permanent and non-permanent seats of the UNSC. In this regard, they committed to active and constructive engagement in the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) on UNSC Reforms to be conducted through a text-based negotiation process with an overall objective of making the UNSC more effective, representative and credible. In view of India's long-standing contributions to multilateralism and the UN, Australia reiterated its support for India's candidacy for permanent membership of a reformed UNSC. India and Australia also confirmed support for each other’s candidacies for non-permanent seats on the UNSC – India for the term 2028-2029 and Australia for the term 2029-2030.
49. The Prime Ministers reiterated their firm commitment to provide humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people, in view of the deteriorating humanitarian situation and also reaffirmed calls on those in positions of power across Afghanistan to adhere to counter terrorism commitments and human rights, in accordance with UNSCR 2593. They reiterated their call for protection of rights of women and girls and their full participation in public life. They agreed that a broad based and inclusive government is necessary for long term peace and stability in Afghanistan.
50. The Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the progress of bilateral engagements and affirmed their commitment to further deepen and strengthen the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for mutual benefit as well as for the peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific. Prime Minister Albanese thanked Prime Minister Modi for the warmth and hospitality extended to him and to the members of his delegation during his State Visit to India and extended an invitation to Prime Minister Modi to visit Australia.
March 10, 2023