Today I will meet with my Indian counterpart His Excellency Mr Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of Finance, to discuss the growing bilateral relationship between our two countries, as well as the important outcomes from last weekend's G20 Finance Ministers' meeting in London.
My visit recognises the growing strength of the bilateral relationship between India and Australia and the important role we are both playing in tackling the global recession.
These Ministerial level talks will build on an annual dialogue, chaired at Deputy Secretary level, between the Treasury and the Indian Ministry of Finance.
I will also meet with Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission of India, and Dr Chakravarthi Rangarajan, Chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council.
I will address senior government officials, business representatives and prominent academics at the invitation of the National Council for Applied Economic Research in New Delhi.
Australia's trade and investment with India has grown rapidly in recent years making India our fifth largest export destination and one of our most important sources of international students. Australia's trade and investment links with India were worth an average of $12.3 billion over the past five years and in the last year, trade with India grew by almost 45 per cent. This relationship has been of mutual benefit as Australia provides India with many of the resources and skills it needs to continue developing into a modern and dynamic economy.
We have both also held firm in this global recession. Our financial sectors remain strong and our economies have continued to expand.
India is now also a world leader and an increasingly active member of global and regional economic forums. It is important for Australia and India to work together to achieve positive outcomes in forums such as the G20 and the East Asia Summit, and today's talks will help achieve this goal.
7 September 2009