India-Australia to finalise economic cooperation agreement by this year

 Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Friday said that his country and India have agreed on an early conclusion of the ambitious comprehensive economic cooperation agreement, expecting it to be finalised by this year itself.

“I am hopeful that we will be able to finalise it this year,” Albanese said during a joint press briefing with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after bilateral talks between the two leaders.

“Our teams are working on a comprehensive economic agreement between our two countries,” PM Modi said during the joint briefing.

Meanwhile, he added that security cooperation is an important pillar in the comprehensive strategic partnership between India and Australia.

“We discussed maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region today,” Prime Minister Modi said.

Modi also thanked his Australian counterpart for inviting him for the Quad leaders’ summit in May.

“India and Australia are both members of the Quad. I thank PM Albanese for inviting me to Australia for the Quad Leaders’ summit in May. I have invited him to India for the G20 summit in September,” Modi said.

Both the leaders also witnessed exchange of several MoUs between the two countries.

The MoUs were signed in sports and for audio-visual co-production, while terms of reference for solar taskforce were also exchanged between India and Australia.

Modi also raised the issue of incidents of attacks on temples in Australia with Albanese.

“I have seen reports of attacks on temples in Australia. I have conveyed this to PM Albanese and he has assured me that the safety and well-being of the Indian community in Australia is a priority for them,” the prime minister said.

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