Indians in Australia waiting eagerly for PM Manmohan Singh’s visit

Thursday, January 27, 2011

NEW DELHI - Indians living in Australia are waiting eagerly for the visit of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Singh likely to visit Australia in October this year to take part in the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Perth.

There has been no prime ministerial visit from India since former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to that country in 1986.

There have been three prime ministerial visits from Australia since 1988 (Prime Minister John Howard in 2000 and 2006 and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2009) and the relationship has been taken to the level of a strategic partnership.

Talking to ANI, Sujata Singh, India’s High Commissioner at Australia, said: ” The Prime Minister has been invited and he has accepted the invitation in principal, and when it will take place, it will be very important visit, as so far, there has been no Prime Ministerial visit from India to Australia for the past 25 years.”

According to an estimate, there are about half-a-million persons of Indian origin, including Indian students, living in Australia. Indians have become the second largest migrant community in Australia and the largest source of skilled professionals for Australia after United Kingdom.

Other than skilled jobs Indian migrants in Australia are in medical, restaurant, clothing, jewelry, education institution, real estate, household services and in traveling business.

Tejpal Singh Chawla, an Indian migrant and rice importer, hopes that the Indian Prime Minister’s expected visit would certainly give a boost to business ties between the two countries.

Jatinpal Singh, an Indian student in Australia, said that he is looking forward to the Prime Minister’s visit, as he believes that trip could achieve a breakthrough in resolving the issue of migration of Indian students.

Though, there has been a regular exchange of visits at the ministerial and official levels, it is expected that Prime Minister Singh’s visit to Australia would further strengthen economic relations with Australia.

Experts opine that the time and resources that India has invested in Australia could have been increased when one looks at Australia’s potential importance to India.

The issue of civil Nuclear co-operation between India and Australia and issues related to the Indian students would be priority topics of discussions during the expected visit of the Indian Prime Minister to Australia.

It is pertinent to mention that Australia has about 35 percent of the exploitable reserves of uranium of the world and also is a strong supporter of the global non-proliferation regime.

During the recent visit of Indian External Affair Minister S. M. Krishna to Melbourne, Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd clearly explained the Labor party’s stand of not selling Australian uranium to non-NPT signatories. However he mentioned that his government’s policy was not India specific.

India hopes that Australia would understand its growing energy requirements in climate friendly way and is optimistic that the expected visit to Indian Prime Minister to Australia would provide a significant opportunity to take their bilateral relations to a significant level.

“One of the important objectives of whatever we have been doing across the year is to lay the ground of the for the coming visit of the Indian Prime Minister,” said Sujata Singh. (ANI)

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