PM Turnbull in India: Upskilling 400 million Indian youth important while FTA with India on backburner

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was accorded a ceremonial welcome on Monday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi received Mr. Turnbull.

He was then accorded the ceremonial guard of honour.

Prime Minister Turnbull told reporters in New Delhi on Monday 10th April 2017 – “Prime Minister Modi has got a massive task, a massive objective, a huge ambition to upskill the people of India and there is a big role for Australia to play in that”.

India and Australia on Monday committed themselves to deepen the bilateral defence and security partnership while Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that cooperation in education and research is a key aspect of the ties between the two countries. Mr Turnbull said that Tony Abbott’s Free Trade Agreement is for the time being on backburner.

“It is a process that will take some time, you know, India has a long tradition of protection, particularly for agriculture, of course we are a huge agricultural exporter, so we want to have open markets for everything, but in particular for agriculture, so it will take time. But the important thing is to persevere and I think that you can see that the trade between our two countries is growing all the time, there are more opportunities arising,” Mr Turnbull said.

PM Turnbull is joined by his Education Minister Simon Birmingham and Vice Chancellors from Australian universities. 60,000 Indians were studying in Australia and noted his counterpart PM Mosi’s wants to train 400 million. It is this young Indis, this new India which needs training which needs opportunity. As PM Turnbull says Australia plays and hopes to play a great role – in skilling the young population.

PM Turnbull laid the wreath at Rajghat while paying his respect to Mahatma Gandhi

Last year Australia had 61,000 Indian students making Australia second most popular destination for Indians behind the US. The education Minister said that Australia’s focus was shifting to “How it is we can help PM Modi and the Indian Government to skill some 400, million people by 2020.  To do this the Minister is making a case for easing restrictions to India. “Enhanced mutual recognition of Australian qualifications as well as better access for Australian education and training providers into India to help them meet their targets – to build their capacity and their economy.” – he said.

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