Event ReportsPublished on Feb 03, 2014
The Australia-India Roundtable, the leading informal dialogue between the two countries, began in Sydney on Monday, 3 February.
Australia-India roundtable begins in Sydney

The Australia-India Roundtable, the leading informal dialogue between the two countries, began in Sydney on Monday, 3 February.

A high-level delegation of Indian officials, think tank experts and media commentators are in Australia for the talks, led by the Secretary (East) of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, Mr. Anil Wadhwa.

The dialogue is convened by the Lowy Institute in partnership with the Australia India Institute and with prominent Indian think tank Observer Research Foundation. It is supported by the Public Diplomacy Division of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and the Australia India Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The talks began today at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney, and continue on Thursday, 6 February, at the Australia India Institute in Melbourne.

The Indian team, besides Mr Wadhwa and Mr Sanjay Bhattarcharya, JS (South), MEA, include Dr. C. Raja Mohan, Head of Strategic Affairs Studies, ORF, Mr Samir Saran, Vice President, ORF, Dr Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, Senior Fellow, ORF, Mr Ashok Malik, AII-ORF Chair, Dr Rajeev Kumar and Prof. Rakesh Basant, IIM (Ahmedabad).

Dr C. Raja Mohan, the Indian co-Chair of the dialogue, said ’The engagement with Australia is one of India’s fastest growing and most significant bilateral partnerships and has the potential to contribute to stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific at a time of great uncertainty in the relations among China, Japan and the United States’.

Dr. Rory Medcalf, the Australian chair of the dialogue and the director of the international security program at the Lowy Institute, said ’These frank and creative discussions will be a chance to consolidate one of Australia’s key strategic relationships in the Indo-Pacific region’.

While in Sydney, the Indian delegation will also visit the University of New South Wales for discussions on scientific research partnerships and meet NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell. The delegation will hold talks with senior Australian officials in Canberra as well as meeting Commonwealth Government Ministers.

About 40 Australian officials, scholars, parliamentarians, journalists and business representatives will share views with the Indian delegation during the roundtable discussions.

The talks are aimed at producing practical recommendations to advance Australia-India relations in trade and investment, education, people-to-people ties, defence and diplomatic cooperation in such frameworks as the G20 and the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, both being chaired by Australia this year.

In 2013, the dialogue was held in New Delhi.

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