Foreign Policy Watch: India-Australia

[op-ed snap] Amidst a tragedy, an opportunity


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much.

Mains level : Paper 2- International relations.


The raging fire in Australia gives provides an opportunity for India and Australia to deepen their dialogue including on energy.

Scope for the two countries

  • At this moment India and Australia have a rare opportunity to translate their converging interests into a partnership.
  • At Australia India Leadership Dialogue last month in Melbourne, the breadth and depth of the relationship was evident.
  • As a consequence of the bushfires, the debate on global warming, climate change and fossil fuels is going to intensify in the weeks ahead.
  • Environmental activism has gained ground throughout Australia.
  • Indian Ocean Dipole may have triggered the drought that is related to the fires.
  • The campaign against fossil fuels and the export of coal is sure to intensify.
  • India and Australia are two economies with a great stakeholding in fossil fuels.
  • It is critical for India and Australia to ensure that their dialogue on energy acquires momentum.
  • Both countries must simultaneously strengthen the International Solar Alliance and the search for other alternative green fuels.

Common threat of China

  • Leadership Dialogue also recognised that we are living through a period of immense turbulence, disruption, and even subversion.
  • Presence of assertive China is the single biggest challenge to our two countries.
  • In India, there is a consensus that the Australia-India relationship is an idea whose time has well and truly come.

Area of coordination

  • India and Australia can work on the area of water management to trauma research to skill and higher education.
  • Both the countries can also work in the area of maritime security, cybersecurity, counterterrorism,
  • In a survey, Indians ranked Australia in the top four nations towards which they feel most warmly.
  • Both have a strategic interest in ensuring a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region.
  • Indians are today the largest source of skilled migrants in Australia.
  • there is need for an early conclusion of a bilateral Free Trade Agreement.


There is a large scope for both countries to coordinate on wide issues like energy, research, security and work together for the benefit of both countries.



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