Mr Andrew Collister, the Vice-Consul at the Australian Consulate- General in Chennai visited CPPR office for an in-house interaction with the team on the growing Indo-Australian relations. In his introductory remarks, Dr Dhanuraj spoke about the common ground between India and Australia. From being Commonwealth Nations to conducting joint Naval exercises, the two nations have maintained positive diplomatic engagements.
Mr Collister began by introducing the India Economic Strategy and its ten priority sectors, with education being the major area of partnerships. As India has been highlighted as one of the single major markets with growth opportunities for Australian businesses, the government plans to elevate India into their top three export markets. Their hope is to change the perception that Australia can be a first order partner for India in areas other than education as well. With India being the largest source of skilled migrants as well as being the second largest source of international students; the significant asset of Indo – Australian relationship is the people to people linkage. The New Colombo Plan is an initiative to further this relationship. With the Indian and Australian Prime Ministers securing a second term incumbency, Mr Collister hopes that this stability will add on to the momentum of achieving these plans. During his interaction with the team, he also discussed China’s influence on Australia, Kochi Smart City Mission, return migration from the Gulf and India’s rejection of RCEP.