India and Australia have announced a migration agreement in an effort to expand their economic cooperation.
Wednesday’s announcement followed a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart, Anthony Albanese.
The agreement intends to “promote the mobility of students, graduates, academic researchers, and businesspeople in both directions.”
They also discussed regional security in light of the region’s escalating tensions.
India and Australia are members of the Quad Alliance, along with the United States and Japan.
The group’s scheduled meeting in Sydney was cancelled last week due to US Vice President Joe Biden‘s return to Washington for debt ceiling negotiations.
After participating in the G7 summit in Japan and travelling to Papua New Guinea, Modi continued his scheduled visit to Sydney.
This is Modi’s first trip to Australia since 2014, and it follows Albanese’s trip to India in March by two months.
An agreement that was under negotiation for several years
The migration agreement had been under negotiation for several years. Australia already has a significant number of Indian migrants. Census data indicates that nearly a quarter of the more than one million individuals who moved to Australia in 2016 were from India.
According to a statement, the finalised migration agreement will also result in the establishment of a new programme called MATES (Mobility Arrangement for Talented Early Professionals Scheme) that was “created specifically for India.”
The Indian prime minister stated on Tuesday that the two countries had also discussed expanding cooperation on mining and critical minerals. As well as making progress towards establishing an Australia-India Green Hydrogen Taskforce.
Negotiations for a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement between India and Australia have been ongoing for more than a decade.
Modi was speaking at a rally in one of Sydney’s largest indoor stadiums on Tuesday. Where thousands of members of the Indian diaspora were present.
Albanese stated at the event, “The last person I saw on this stage was Bruce Springsteen, and he did not receive the reception that Prime Minister Modi has received.”
Modi referred to the Indian diaspora in Australia as “a living bridge” connecting the two nations.
“The relationship between India and Australia is based on mutual trust and respect,” he stated.