Next Australian Government urged to stay the course with India

John McCarthy

A former Australian High Commissioner to India has warned that Australia will be making a serious mistake if it dilutes efforts to improve ties with India.

John McCarthy, who is one of Australia’s most accomplished diplomats, made his remarks in a speech to the Australia India Institute, based at the University of Melbourne on India’s Independence Day. The speech, entitled ‘Australia, Asia and Beyond – Some Thoughts for a New Government’ was delivered in the midst of Australia’s current Federal election campaign.

In a sweeping review of the foreign policy challenges facing the next government, Mr McCarthy noted a slackening in India’s rate of economic growth, but expressed confidence that reforms over the past 20 years would not be undone.

“Given the degree to which political power in India has become more diffuse in recent years, it is not assured that India will quickly regain the momentum it enjoyed in the first decade of the century. But it will not go backwards and it would be a serious mistake for Australia to dilute the efforts it has put into the relationship over the past decade,’ he said.

In addition to representing Australia in New Delhi, Mr McCarthy, now retired, has previously served as Ambassador to Japan, Indonesia, and the United States. .He now serves as chair of the Australia India Council.


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