Ex-Australian PM Abbott in Delhi in new trade role, effort to kickstart trade talks
In an effort to restart India-Australia trade talks, former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott landed in Delhi on Monday for a four-day visit to meet Ministers and business leaders. Mr. Abbott is in India as Australian PM Scott Morrison’s “Special Trade Envoy for India”. Despite an agreement between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and PM Morrison in June 2020 that India and Australia would “re-engage” on the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), talks on CECA, that have been suspended since 2015, have made no visible progress.
“Mr. Abbott looks forward to discussions on the India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, which will propel our economic relationship to its full potential, to the mutual benefit of the Indian and Australian people,” Australian High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell said, announcing the visit on Monday, describing bilateral ties at an “historic high”. “This will be an opportunity to progress Australia’s ambitious agenda to energise and expand our bilateral trade and investment relationship with India,” a statement issued by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) also said.