18 February 2014

Findings from this month’s Australia-India Roundtable have concluded that relations between India and Australia have reached a ‘new maturity’ based on deepening social, economic and political connections.

More than 60 prominent figures from diplomacy, think tanks, higher education, politics, business and media took part in the dialogue held at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney and the Australia India Institute in Melbourne and Sydney.

Australia India Institute Director, Professor Amitabh Mattoo said the event was a resounding success.

“The discussions confirmed the progress the Australia-India relationship has made in the past few years, as well the great opportunity we have to propel it even further.”

The closed-door discussion included a keynote address from The Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, MP.


Priorities identified during the discussions included the need to:

▪   Federalise the bilateral relationship, encouraging dynamic states and cities in both countries to connect more with each other;

▪   Renew the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund, through which both governments have supported scientific innovation of long-term economic benefit;

▪   Build industry and research links so that Indian business can commercialise and scale-up research from Australian universities;

▪   Improve business and regulatory environments to enable cross-investments by the private sectors in the two countries, including in the entire energy chain;

▪   Become more ambitious in strengthening defence ties, including through advanced naval exercises, shared maritime surveillance, research in areas of mutual strategic interest and potential cooperation in advanced areas of defence technology;

▪   Cooperate on issues of cybersecurity and internet governance, and establish deeper institutional interactions in this sphere;

▪   Work closely together in forums like the G20, East Asia Summit, Indian Ocean Rim Association and Indian Ocean Naval Symposium;

▪   Foster champions for the bilateral relationship among leaders and opinion-makers in both countries, as well as encouraging the further growth of people-people relations;

▪   Foster strategic collaboration across research, learning and teaching, student and staff mobility between Australia’s leading research intensive universities (Group of 8) and a select grouping of India’s best universities;

▪   Work towards a bilateral visit to Australia by the next Indian Prime Minister at the time of the Brisbane G20 summit in November 2014.

Read more about Australia India Institute Director Professor Amitabh Mattoo's thoughts from the Australia-India Rountable.