With Swaraj and Bishop holding the 10th bilateral Foreign Ministers Framework Dialogue, New Delhi conveyed its concerns over resistance to Adani Group’s coal mining project in Queensland, noting that such impasse could send out a negative message to the Indian investors looking for opportunities in Australia.
Australian officials accompanying Bishop are understood to have conveyed to New Delhi that their government was confident that Adani’s $ 16.5 billion dollar mining project would come through.
The aboriginal Wangan and Jagalingou people launched a stir to block Adani group’s coal mining project at their ancestral land north of the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland.
With New Delhi and Canberra keen to boost bilateral economic ties with focus on trade and investment, Swaraj and Bishop on Tuesday also agreed on the “importance of finalising a mutually beneficial CECA (Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement)”
The role of the India-Australia CEOs’ Forum and ‘Make in India’ show to be held in Australia later in the year also figured prominently in the discussion between Swaraj and Bishop.
They also explored ways for an early conclusion of the Administrative Arrangements on civil nuclear cooperation to facilitate flow of uranium from Australia to India.
They highlighted the importance of people-to-people contacts and welcomed the establishment of the Indian Cultural Centre in Sydney, the forthcoming Festival of India in Australia and growing tourism and cultural exchanges. They noted the growing community of Indian students in Australia and the introduction of the New Colombo Plan, which will bring Australian students to India.
Swaraj and Bishop agreed to strengthen cooperation to upgrade the Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad, establish a Sports University in India and exchange expertise for water management projects.
Bishop met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also.
She also had a meeting with Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Uma Bharti. They discussed growing water partnership between Australia and India in the wake of the agreement between Prime Ministers Tony Abbott and Narendra Modi in November 2014.
Under a new programme of technical collaboration, Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO, will work with India’s National Mission for Clean Ganga to jointly to develop a water quality assessment framework, including a scorecard system for measuring and reporting on water quality in the river. The work will result in a more detailed understanding of the types of pollutants entering the Ganga.
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