India and Australia signed agreements Monday on cooperating to combat global terrorism and transnational organized crime, as well as working together in areas such as the environment, climate, wildlife and civil aviation security.
Malcolm Turnbull will turn his focus in India from trade to security on the second day of his visit to the subcontinent. Further, both the Prime Ministers also underscored Australia and India's joint commitment to enhancing regional cooperation in promoting maritime security and safety.
Australia's two-way trade with India was worth $18 billion in 2015 but has shrunk since a decade ago, with a key factor being the fall in the number of young Indians coming to Australia to study after a series of attacks on foreign students in 2009 and 2010.
Modi nicely drew cricket analogies to describe the ties between the two countries.
It is seen as a reference to China's growing assertiveness in South China.
The agreement was signed after bilateral talks between PM Narendra Modi and visiting Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull Monday.
"When (Mr Modi) sought to identify a country that could partner with India, he saw Australia as being the best candidate".
Learning the sudden popularity numbers in India for the Australian PM, the White House has offered to settle down the most important unsolved debate in India on 'Who is the greatest? "We're pleased to be providing increasing quantities of coal for steel-making and increasingly for power generation, with advance super-critical technology", Turnbull said. There were indications that sticking points on the pact included issues relating to agriculture.
Both leaders agreed that Australia's resources and experience could support India's ambitious economic reform path and that India's strong growth offered opportunities for Australian investment looking for long term stable returns.
He also thanked Turnbull for Australia's decision to join the International Solar Alliance. "We, therefore, agree on the need for a secure and rule-based Indo-Pacific", he said.
"We are aware that in this globalised world challenges like terrorism and cyber security extend beyond boundaries of our regions", Modi added.
"Our cooperation in the area of defence and security has reached new heights".
Though the two sides agreed to a fresh round of discussions, he made it clear his priority was now the broader Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
The cricketer joined the prime minister in Mumbai on Wednesday to launch a sports partnership that will harness Australia's sporting expertise to help Indian athletes do better and encourage healthier lifestyles.