Australia being a cute Rasgulla.

So due to increase tension between India and China and India and Australia there is a huge chances and probability that i the days to come India and Australia may become strongest of allies as by discovering some of the biggest potential they behold through trade and military presence in both Asia and Oceania if there is a mutual respect and support between each other. There is also an ambitious bilateral agenda that will add substance to the India-Australia summit. When it comes to defense, India and Australia share a common concern over China it is that aspect which informs a lot of the bilateral transactions between the two countries. While Australia is worried about China’s presence in the Pacific, India is worried about China’s increasing activities and influence in the Indian Ocean.

Earlier this year, the Australian and Indian navies concluded a two-week-long bilateral maritime exercise code-named AUSINDEX. A government release at the time said the exercise was conducted, “to strengthen and enhance mutual cooperation and interoperability between the IN (Indian Navy) and RAN (Royal Australian Navy), providing opportunities for interaction and exchange of professional views between the personnel of the two navies”. From 2016-18, the armies of the countries conducted a joint military exercise dubbed “AUSTRA HIND”. Significantly, for the first time in 2017, Australia’s Foreign Policy White Paper identified India as being at the “front rank” of Australia’s international partnerships, “on par with the US, Japan, Indonesia, and China”, Australian High Commissioner Harinder Sidhu said in her address at the National Defence College in May this year.

The informal strategic Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) that was initiated by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007 was largely in response to China’s growing power and influence. Initially, the “Quad” members included India, Japan, the US, and Australia; however Australia chose to withdraw when Kevin Rudd was Prime Minister, since it did not want to be a part of an anti-China alliance at the time. In an article in the Nikkei Asian Review in March 2019, Rudd said, referring to his opposition to the Quad: “Japan said that the rationale for the QSD was to defend the international rules-based order, implying that China back in 2007 had already become a threat to the order.“For Australia in 2007 therefore, to begin embroiling itself in any emerging military alliance with Japan against China, in the absence of any formal reconciliation between Tokyo and Beijing over the events of the Second World War (Nanking Massacre), was incompatible with our long-term national interests.”However, Australia later rejoined the dialogue in 2017 on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit, signalling a re-ignition in Australia’s interest in the dialogue.

However, it is the economic dimension that continues to lag. The summit provides Modi and Morrison with the opportunity to impart a fresh momentum to it. Bilateral trade is barely 30 billion dollars and even though Australia is a world leader in niche technologies, investment in India is relatively limited. ‘An India Economic Strategy to 2035’ by Peter Varghese, former Australian Foreign Secretary and High Commissioner to India, provides an excellent blueprint. It identifies 10 states and 10 sectors of the economy that can be of particular focus, and underscores the important role of investment in driving the economic relationship. But while Canberra sees the opportunity, private business groups have been shy to grab it. With the exception of the Macquarie Group and a couple of others, Australia’s large financial institutions, pension funds and even the sovereign Future Fund have shown reluctance to invest in India. From India, the Adani group’s multi-billion dollar investment into the Carmichael coal fields in Queensland also ran into a series of hurdles and dampened some of the initial ardor to invest in Australia. There are also a number of less glamorous areas that offer fertile ground for collaboration in sectors where Australia has proven expertise. Some projects are already underway in agriculture, animal husbandry, water conservation, mining technology and equipment and sports infrastructure, but there is ample scope for scaling these to become success stories that both countries can proudly showcase. Cyber security is of critical interest to both, as is the need to work together in tapping Australia’s huge deposits of lithium and rare earths.