Australia hosts major naval exercise for first time

Australia will host a major upcoming international naval exercise for the first time as the government welcomes the strength of its ties with India.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese unveiled the defense operation as Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen stressed the need to strengthen regional security in clean energy supply chains.

Over the past three years, Exercise Malabar has involved all four quad nations at various locations in the Indo-Pacific.

Defense ships and aircraft from Australia, India, Japan and the United States are participating in a tender to strengthen military cooperation between the nations.

The announcement was made when Albanese and Chris Bowen met with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Sydney on Saturday.

Albanese said it plans to visit India in the coming weeks to finalize a trade deal between the two countries and hopes to strengthen economic and security ties at a meeting at Kirribilli House.

Bowen later warned that the global energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine showed why countries such as Australia and India need to work together to ensure diversity in international supply chains. .

“The global shift to cleaner energy cannot entrench energy insecurity by entrenching reliance on limited supply chains,” Bowen told an audience at the Australian Institute for Strategic Policy. I spoke.

“Dependence on the global energy supply chain (Russian gas) cannot be exchanged for an overly concentrated renewable energy supply chain.”

China, which accounts for about 80% of the market, has previously suspended imports of products such as Australian barley, wine and lobster, according to the International Energy Agency.

“Renewable power is growing faster in India than any other major economy, and supply chain diversification is essential for this continued growth,” Bowen said.

“Simply put, we want to manufacture more inverters, transformers, batteries, solar panels and other essential elements of the renewable energy transformation in Australia.

“But diversified supply is good supply, so we want India and other reliable and trustworthy partners to make more as well.”

Jaishankar’s visit came at an important time for Australia-India relations.

As well as his next trip to sign a trade deal, Albanese will travel to New Delhi in September for the upcoming G20 meeting.

Australia will also host an annual conference of quad leaders in the first half of this year.