New Delhi 27 July 2020: The High Commissioner of Australia Mr. Barry O'Farrell AO, called on Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla in Parliament House today. Welcoming Mr. O'Farrell, Shri Birla said that India and Australia share a strong bilateral relationship based on shared democratic values and a rich and vibrant culture.
Shri Birla mentioned that the Prime Ministers of India and Australia, Shri Narendra Modi and Shri Scott Morrison, respectively had held a virtual summit meeting in June 2020, wherein both countries decided to upgrade their bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership. He added that both India and Australia are strong democracies who seek peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
On the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Shri Birla said that both countries can benefit from enhanced cooperation in science and technology and through shared efforts in keeping their people safe in these difficult times.
Speaking about the recent developments, Shri Birla said that India conducts its international affairs on the principle of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam (the world is one family). He emphasized that in this conception of the world, there is no scope for expansionist ideologies and India is firmly committed to development based on shared peace and prosperity. He added that Australia played a commendable role reaffirming commitment to India's national sovereignty and a rules based international order.
Speaking on the close economic and cultural ties between the two nations, Shri Birla said that India and Australia must seek a closer partnership in diverse sectors like agriculture, tourism, MSME etc. and continue to grow their trade, economic and cultural relationship. On the trade potential between the two countries, Shri Birla said that there is a lot of potential in the tourism sector that can be very beneficial to both the countries.
Shri Birla also emphasized on strengthening Parliamentary relations between the two countries and invited an Australian Parliamentary delegation led by the Australian Speaker to visit India as and when the pandemic situation improves.