AUSTRALIA 2+2 DIALOGUE
• The 3rd edition of India- Australia foreign and defence secretaries “2+2 Dialogue” was held this week in New Delhi.
• Both sides welcomed the recent progress made in deepening bilateral, political, economic, security and defence cooperation.
• They exchanged views on achieving the shared objective of peace, prosperity, and progress in the Indo-Pacific region and the need for enhanced collaboration to counter threat of terrorism and violent extremism through increased information sharing.
• In the past 20 years both India and Australia have emerged out to be sharing common perceptions. We share the maritime neighborhood. Distance between Chennai and Perth is less than that of Chennai and Beijing.
• Also, in the rules based world order, law of the seas, right to communicate etc. both the countries have common shared vision.
• Also, within the Asian perspective we have ASEAN led dimensions where in East Asia summit or under ARF both the nations participate.
• However, Trade remains a matter of concerns just being below its potential at mere 5 billion(approx.).
• Also, in the advance and critical technologies Australia is also working with advanced countries like US and European nations. India should also work with Australia because both the countries share common long term interest in this arena.
• Australians want to take maritime relations to next level. They want to look beyond bilateral exercise. However, recently denying the participating of Australia in the Malabar exercise by India raised concerns between the two nations.
• Mutual logistics support agenda might also be on the cards when the Australian PM visits India.
• Terrorism is also one of the common area of concern between both countries. Because Australia in the last decade has faced threats related to terrorism.
• Australia is as keen as Japan that India should be a part of RCEP ( Regional comprehensive economic program ) However the country understands India’s concerns of not joining.
• Australia also wants to put itself in a position where it can benefit from whats going on in the Indo-Pacific region ( US-China trade war ) as it considers India as a partner in this. As stated by “Penny Wong” a Labout party leader in Australia.
• People to people connect is also great between both the countries due to cricket and students studying in Australia.