PA/05/18 9 May 2018
Australia demonstrates commitment to partnership with India
Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Ms Harinder Sidhu, has welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement to fund a new Consulate-General in Kolkata and extend the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF).
“These announcements cement Australia’s commitment to India as a first tier partnership” she said.
“The opening of the Consulate-General in Kolkata will take the total number of Australia’s diplomatic posts in India to four, in addition to the High Commission in New Delhi and Consulates-General in Mumbai and Chennai.”
“The Consulate-General in Kolkata will strengthen bilateral trade and investment, particularly in the mining and resources sectors. We look forward to strengthening our engagement with West Bengal and surrounding states.”
The Government has also committed to continuing the successful AISRF, under new measures providing $20 million over the next four years to enhance Australian innovation in Asia under the existing Global Innovation Strategy of the National Innovation and Science Agenda.
“India has, and continues to be, an important partner to Australia in innovation and science. The AISRF is Australia’s largest fund dedicated to bilateral research and is at the cornerstone of our scientific partnership.”
Since its introduction in 2006, collaboration between Australia and India increased three-fold. Some of the practical outcomes of this include improved trauma care, a portable diagnostic tool for tuberculosis, and advances in quantum computing.
These announcements are made at a time when Australia is deepening its relationship with India, and are consistent with commitments outlined in the Foreign Policy White Paper.