Australian PM to visit India next year, to deliver inaugural address at Raisina Dialogue

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is slated to visit India in January next year at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and will deliver the inaugural address at the Raisina Dialogue 2020 in New Delhi.

“I am honoured to accept the invitation of my friend Prime Minister Modi to visit India in January (2020), including to deliver the inaugural address at the Raisina Dialogue,” Morrison said during his address at the Sydney Town Hall on Thursday.

The Raisina Dialogue, India’s annual flagship platform on geo-politics and geo-economics, is slated to be held from January 14 to 16 next year. The conference is hosted by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs.

ORF president Samir Saran, who curates the Raisina Dialogue, thanked Morrison for accepting the invitation.

“Delighted that PM @ScottMorrisonMP will deliver the inaugural address at @raisinadialogue – no better person and signals the importance of this bilateral. Thank you for accepting our invitation @AusHCIndia @MEAIndia @DrSJaishankar,” he said in a tweet.

Underlining that India is a “natural partner” for Australia, Morrison said he has invited Ashok Jacob, Chair of the Australia-India Council Board, to lead the business delegation during the upcoming visit.

“The visit will be accompanied by a business delegation that I have invited Ashok Jacob, Chair of the Australia-India Council Board, to lead. This will bring Government and business together to pursue our India Economic Strategy that has captured the attention of our Indian partners and must now be realised,” he remarked.

“My visit will be another step in cementing India in the top tier of Australia’s partnerships,” Morrison added.

Touching upon the issue of Indo-Pacific, the Australian premier said that India is a “great success story” in the region, adding that it is “a land of durable institutions and shared values”.

He expressed hope that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, a free trade agreement with 16 countries, will be signed next month.

“Next month we, our ASEAN partners and other nations in the region hope to conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, embracing 16 economies with a combined population of 3.5 billion and combined GDP of USD 25.7 billion,” Morrison said.

The special importance of the deal is that it will draw India more substantially into the Indo-Pacific economy, he further said.

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