External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar today termed India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue as productive. In his opening remarks during the Dialogue in New Delhi, Dr Jaishankar said both the countries are meeting at a very crucial time when, along with a pandemic, the geo-political environment is in rapid flux.
He said the two countries with other like minded partners should respond adequately to safeguard their national interests as well as ensure a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. Dr Jaishankar said the meeting is an opportunity to review and take forward the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for another meeting between the Prime Ministers of two countries later this month in the United States.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar are leading the Indian side in the Dialogue. Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Peter Dutton are leading the Australian delegation. The inaugural 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue is being held following elevation of the India-Australia bilateral relations to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during the India-Australia Leaders’ Virtual Summit in June last year.
India is committed to building a robust partnership with Australia for the security and growth of the entire region. India Australia partnership is based on shared vision of free, open, inclusive and rule based Indo-Pacific region. Australia joined the Malabar Exercise last year and is participating in the Exercise this year as well.
Malabar Exercise is a naval exercise involving the United States, Japan and India as permanent partners. India-Australia economic relationship has grown significantly in recent years. India is the fifth largest trade partner of Australia with trade in goods and services at 29 billion Australian dollars. The Indian community in Australia continues to grow with the population of nearly seven land a half lakhs.