Australia seeks to deepen relations in the Indo-Pacific as a free trade agreement with India approaches


Australia seeks to deepen relations with Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defense Minister Peter Dutton throughout the Indo-Pacific. Take off on a regional tour for the series Of 2 + 2 meetings with responders from Indonesia, India, South Korea, and the United States.

In a joint press release on September 8, Payne and Dutton stated that the tour could strengthen Australia’s active involvement in the region and promote Australia’s contribution to peace and stability in the region. rice field.

“Australia’s security and economic prosperity are deeply integrated with those of its Indo-Pacific regional partners. We are open, inclusive and supportive of mutual prosperity and stability with these major partners. We share a vision for a resilient region, “said the co-release.

Payne said the most pressing issue in the debate was cooperation for the recovery of the region from COVID-19.

“During conferences and efforts in four countries, discuss ongoing partnerships to overcome the pandemic, including fair, safe and effective distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine and a common path to the recovery of the global economy. “I will,” said Payne.

Mr. Dutton said the visit was an important opportunity to build an already strong defense partnership, especially with the United States, which celebrated the 70th anniversary of the ANZUS Alliance.

“I am very much looking forward to meeting with our counterparts in person to further discuss our common interests in building strong relationships and keeping our region safe,” Dutton said. Told.

Minister Payne and Minister Dutton will also attend the first Australian and US Ministerial Conference (AUSMIN) with the Biden administration on September 16th in Washington.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will join to discuss further cooperation on issues such as economic coercion, defense, climate, supply chain, and COVID-19 recovery.

Rapid tracking of India-Australia free trade agreements

An important part of the tour is that Payne and Dutton will meet with Foreign Minister Subra Maniyam Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on September 11 to discuss issues such as economic security, cyber and supply chains. ..

Ministers said the relationship between Australia and India was “historically high,” and with the prospect of a free trade agreement with India, Jaishankar had a tailwind behind the negotiations.

“I feel that we are making progress this time. I think former Prime Minister Tony Abbott was here recently as a special envoy dealing with trade, so there is a tailwind that we want to pass the post. I think.” Jaishan Karl said JG Crawford Oration of Australian National University on September 6th.

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(LR) Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia will walk together when leaving the House of Representatives of the House of Representatives in Canberra, Australia on November 18, 2014. (Rick Licroft-Pool / Getty Images)

In his speech, Jaishankar also stated that the Prime Minister of India expressed his serious intention to advance relations between Australia and India.

“I’ve heard from the Prime Minister specifically and regularly … Do more with Australia and find ways to improve this relationship,” said Jaishankar.

In 2011, Australia began negotiations with India on a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). Negotiations were suspended in 2015 and re-engaged by the two Prime Ministers in 2020.

August 26, 2021, Australia’s Minister of Trade Dan Tehan and India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal I agreed Speed ​​up negotiations to achieve the announcement of the interim trade agreement by December 2021.

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Australia’s Scott Morrison (L) was the first to meet with US President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a virtual conference held in Sydney, Australia on Friday, March 12, 2021. Participated in the Quad Leader Conference. (AAP image / pool / Dean Lewin)

Recent pushes to advance economic relations with other Indo-Pacific countries are triggered by the politically motivated economic coercion of Australia by the Chinese Communist Party, diversifying domestic industry from China to countries like India. I was forced to.

Rebecca Chu