India Australia Relations


11:54 AM

1 min read
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What’s in today’s article?

  • Why in the News?
  • India – Australia Bilateral Relationship
  • Bilateral Trade Between India – Australia
  • Civil Nuclear Deal
  • Indian Community in Australia
  • IndAus ECTA
  • News Summary

Why in the News?

Australia, in its new National Defence Strategy (NDS) 2024, has stated that India is a top-tier security partner for Australia.

India – Australia Bilateral Relationship

  • The historical ties between India and Australia started immediately following European settlement in Australia from 1788.
  • All trade to and fro from the penal colony of New South Wales was controlled by the British East India Company through Kolkata.
  • India and Australia established diplomatic relations in the pre-Independence period, with the establishment of India Trade Office in Sydney in 1941.
  • Australia and India upgraded their bilateral relationship from ‘Strategic Partnership’ in 2009 to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) in 2020.
  • Over the years, an array of institutional mechanism has been put in place to promote bilateral co-operation.
  • Bilateral mechanisms include:
    • High level visits, Annual Meetings of Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue, 2+2 Defence and Foreign Ministers' Dialogue, Joint Trade & Commerce Ministerial Commission, Defence Policy Talks, Australia-India Education Council, Defence Services Staff Talks, Energy Dialogue, JWGs on different issues etc.

Bilateral Trade Between India – Australia

  • India is Australia’s sixth largest trading partner.
  • Bilateral trade between India and Australia increased from US$ 22.2 billion in 2021 to US$ 31.4 billion in 2022, registering a growth of 41%.
  • India’s total exports to Australia grew by 38% from US$ 6.3 billion in 2021 to US$ 8.7 billion.
  • Similarly, Australia’s exports to India grew by 42% from US$ 15.9 billion in 2021 to US$ 22.5 billion.
  • India’s Exports:
    • India’s main exports to Australia are refined petroleum, medicaments (incl. veterinary), pearls & gems, jewellery, made-up textile articles.
  • India’s Imports:
    • India’s main imports from Australia are coal, confidential items of trade, copper ores & concentrates, natural gas, non-ferrous waste & scrap, ferrous waste & scrap and education related services.

Civil Nuclear Deal

  • A Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement between the two countries was signed in September 2014.
  • The deal allows Uranium mining companies in Australia to fulfil contracts to supply Australian uranium to India for civil use.

Indian Community in Australia

  • The Indian community in Australia continues to grow and importance, with the population of about 9,76,000 (Census 2021).
  • After England, India is the second largest migrant group in Australia .
  • There is a constant flow of students and tourists from India.


  • In 2022, a bilateral Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) was signed between the Governments of India and Australia.
  • The India-Australia ECTA is the first trade agreement of India with a developed country after more than a decade.
    • The last FTA signed by India with a developed country was with Japan in 2011.
  • The Agreement encompasses cooperation across the entire gamut of bilateral economic and commercial relations between the two countries.
  • It covers areas like Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Trade in Services, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, Dispute Settlement, Movement of Natural Persons, Telecom, Customs Procedures, Pharmaceutical products, and Cooperation in other Areas.

News Summary

  • Australia’s new National Defence Strategy (NDS) 2024 states that India is a top-tier security partner for Australia.
  • It states that through the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, the government is continuing to prioritize practical and tangible cooperation that directly contributes to Indo-Pacific stability.
  • Under the 2024 National Defence Strategy, Australia will support India’s role in the region and seek to drive practical bilateral and multilateral cooperation, defence industry opportunities and information sharing.
  • Defence and strategic cooperation between India and Australia has been transformative in recent years with series of exchanges, high-level visits and exercises, both bilateral and multilateral.
  • India and Australia signed a mutual logistics support agreement in 2020 and the two Navies had signed the ‘Joint Guidance for the India – Australia Navy to Navy Relationship’ document in August 2021.
  • Australia also has a Liaison Officer at the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • In addition, the two sides are in an advanced stage of discussion to conclude implementing arrangements on hydrography cooperation and cooperation for air-to-air refueling.

Related Topics:

Q1. What is the function of the Indian Ocean Rim Association?

The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is an inter-governmental organisation formed in 1997 to foster regional economic cooperation. IORA has evolved into the peak regional group spanning the Indian Ocean. The IORA Secretariat is based in Mauritius and is headed by a fixed term Secretary-General.

Q2. Which countries have signed a Civil Nuclear Deal?

India has signed civil nuclear cooperation agreements with France, the United States, Russia, Namibia, Canada, Argentina, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Czech Republic, Australia, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom.