India has been showing keenness in boosting bilateral cooperation with Australia in the rare earth minerals sector. The sources said Rs 152 crore out of the total package will be set aside for setting up of new centres to further enhance bilateral ties and a separate amount of Rs 97 crore will be for skill development programmes.
"The summit will emphasise that Australia and India are top tier partners and we will deliver wider ambition and practical progress for the relationship," said a source. It said Modi and Morrison will focus on building a robust bilateral architecture in the post-pandemic world.
"Prime Minister Morrison will make announcements on a range of creative new initiatives to lift the relationship to even a higher level," the source said. The financial package of Rs 1,500 crore will form the largest ever Australian government investment in the India-Australia bilateral relationship, the sources said.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said Modi and Morrison are expected to commit to closer bilateral ties in trade, critical minerals, migration and mobility, and education. "The virtual summit will lay the way forward on new initiatives and enhanced cooperation in a diverse range of sectors between India and Australia," it said.
"Prime Minister Modi and I will discuss deepening our trade and investment relationship and harnessing new economic opportunities to support our mutual economic recovery and growth," Morrison said in a statement on Friday. Ties between India and Australia have been on an upswing in the last few years.
In June 2020, India and Australia signed a landmark deal for reciprocal access to military bases for logistics support. The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) allows militaries of the two countries to use each other's bases for repair and replenishment of supplies, besides facilitating scaling up of overall defence cooperation.
The Australian Navy was part of the Malabar naval exercise hosted by India in November 2020 as well as last year. The navies of the US and Japan were also part of it. Australia was part of the Malabar exercise this year as well.