Melbourne, Jan 20 (ANI): India and Australia are committed to cooperate closely in efforts to bring the Doha Round of WTO trade talks to a successful and balanced conclusion within the 2011 window of opportunity identified by G20 leaders at their Seoul Summit.
In a joint statement, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd said: " Both India and Australia are committed to cooperating closely in efforts to bring the Doha Round to a successful, ambitious, comprehensive and balanced conclusion."
Rudd said Australia looked forward to hosting in 2011 the next Joint Ministerial Commission on trade and economic issues and an Indian delegation to the inaugural CEOs Forum.
Noting the importance of cooperation in the resources and energy sector, both ministers said: "The first biennial Australia-India Energy and Minerals Forum, held in Perth in 2010, set the stage for closer collaboration, building on the five strategic Action Plans (Coal, New and Renewable Energy, Mining and Minerals, Power, Petroleum and Natural Gas) signed in 2008."
On the economic relation between the two nations, both ministers said: "The bilateral economic relationship has continued to strengthen. India is now Australia's third largest overall export market and fifth largest trade partner. Australia is India's 6th largest trading partner.
"There were significant new two-way investments in 2010, particularly by India in the resources and energy sector," they added.
Rudd further welcomed the growing interest by Indian companies in investing in Australia.
"In May 2010 the Australian and Indian Governments had noted the recommendations of the Australia-India Free Trade Agreement Joint Feasibility Study and that both sides were undertaking further internal processes," the statement said.
Krishna noted that the trade imbalance with Australia was the second largest that India had with any of its trading partners.
He urged greater flexibility and requested for early action and on issues that impacted on India's exports to Australia, especially in service exports (information technology) and products such as pharmaceuticals, mangoes and table grapes. (ANI)