• India
  • Nov 21

India, Australia hold 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue

• Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar met Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong in New Delhi as part of 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue on November 20.

• India and Australia decided to further strengthen their ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ to deal with exceptional challenges in the Indo-Pacific region and across the globe, with special focus on defence cooperation.

• The two nations also underscored the importance of further enhancing cooperation in information exchange and maritime domain awareness.

• Rajnath Singh said the India-Australia partnership will work well not just for the mutual benefit of both the countries but also for the overall peace, security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific. 

• It was the second India and Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue. The inaugural India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue was held in September 2021 in New Delhi.

• The 2+2 dialogue is held between the foreign and defence ministers of two countries.

• India has a 2+2 format dialogue mechanism on strategic and security issues with five countries — the US, Australia, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom.

India-Australia relations

• India and Australia established diplomatic relations in the pre-Independence period, with the establishment of India Trade Office in Sydney in 1941.

• The end of the Cold War and simultaneously India’s decision to launch major economic reforms in 1991 provided the first positive move towards development of closer ties between the two nations. 

• Both countries upgraded bilateral relationship from ‘Strategic Partnership’ in 2009 to ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ (CSP) in 2020.

• India and Australia are partners in the trilateral Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) arrangement along with Japan which seeks to enhance the resilience of supply chains in the Indo-Pacific Region. 

• Further, India and Australia are also members of the Quad, also comprising the US, and Japan, to further enhance cooperation and develop partnership across several issues of common concern.

• India is the ninth largest trading partner of Australia. During 2021, bilateral trade in goods and services was $27.5 billion, with exports of goods and services worth $10.5 billion and imports of goods and services worth $17 billion. 

• India’s merchandise exports to Australia grew 135 per cent between 2019 and 2021. India’s main exports to Australia are refined petroleum, medicaments, pearls & gems, jewellery, textile articles. India's major imports are coal, confidential items of trade, copper ores & concentrates, natural gas, non-ferrous waste & scrap, ferrous waste & scrap and education related services. 

• Australia has traditionally been a major trading partner for the Indian garment industry with exports occupying a share of about 4 per cent of total Australian garment imports.

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