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India and Australia on Thursday m signed five agreements to boost education and business partnership marking President Ram Nath Kovinds ongoing visit.

The President held talks with Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and Prime Minister Scott Morrison; was accorded a ceremonial reception and hosted at a luncheon banquet by the Governor-General at Admiralty House; and unveiled, along with the Australian Prime Minister, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Jubilee Park in Parramatta, near Sydney ..

The President also delivered two major addresses – at the Australian Financial Review India Business Summit; and at the Australia-India Business Council dinner event hosted in his honour.

As part of President Kovind’s visit, five agreements have been concluded between India and Australia. These are — An agreement between the Government of India and the Government of Australia for cooperation in the area of disability and to deliver services to the differently-abled; An agreement between the Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, Guntur, and the University of Western Australia, Perth, for cooperation in agricultural research and education; A Joint PhD agreement between the Indraprashta Institute of Information Technology, Delhi, and the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane.

Kovind and Morrison were together on three separate occasions today, including during their morning round of talks. Several issues came up in their wide-ranging discussion including trade and investment, the need to expand the trade basket from simply a few commodities, and the strong connections forged by the Indian diaspora.

In the afternoon, speaking at the Australian Financial Review India Business Summit, at which Morrison was also present, Kovind said that in recent years India has renewed its commitment to a liberal, transparent and globalised economy. In terms of openness to foreign capital and international investors, India is in the top league.Business sector after business sector, from aviation to mining to defence production, has had doors thrown open to global players and investors. Several measures – fiscal and regulatory, infrastructure promotion and investment policy – have been taken to make India even more of a hub for new, exciting and global businesses.

The President said that the international business community has responded to India’s achievements with appreciable investment. In financial year 2017-18, India drew almost $ 62 billion in FDI. This was an acknowledgement of India’s honest and reformist efforts – and of its high GDP growth.

The President noted that the big country and big friend that we not seeing as much of in the India investment story is Australia. This is a gap we need to address. Australia and India have too much at stake in each other to not up their game. We can collaborate and benefit from each other’s expertise in fintech and logistics, in industrial design and biotech, in the capital markets and in farm-to-fork management of the food chain – even in space tech and satellite launch services. India’s longstanding space programme, the President said, will be happy to support the new Australian Space Agency.

The President said that Australian super-funds or pension funds have a reputation for careful, calibrated investment decisions. They will find the Indian infrastructure space worth their while – with long-term investments, steady to high returns, confidence in growing consumption, and security in contractual adherence.

Ending his speech on a lighter note, the President urged Australian businesspersons and investors looking to India to borrow from the methods of their cricketers. The most successful Australian batsmen in India, he said, have been those who have shown patience, read the conditions carefully, settled down for the long innings, nurtured dependable partnerships – and not fallen for spin!

At the Australia-India Business Council event, the President praised the Council as a key driver of Australia-India business and investment. He expressed confidence that the Council’s members would further bilateral trade and engagement.

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