PMs’ day out: Modi, Turnbull hold talks, take metro ride

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull signed six Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs), held bilateral talks and took a ride in the Delhi Metro today.

Indian PM Narendra Modi (R) with his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull addressing the media at Hyderabad House
Indian PM Narendra Modi (R) with his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull addressing the media at Hyderabad House. Photo courtesy: MEA

At Hyderabad House in the nation’s capital, the two heads of government addressed the media before the signing ceremonies.

Turnbull, on his first visit to India, said, “The success you have achieved is the wonder of the world. The largest democracy in the world, shortly to be the largest nation in the world, built out of so much diversity and you’ve achieved this remarkable unity of purpose and defying again skeptics, you’ve delivered a growth rate that is equally the wonder of the world, recognising that opening markets, deregulation, enabling businesses and individuals to pursue their own dreams, their own freedom, is the way to deliver the prosperity upon which all depends.”

He added, “Our trading relationship is delivering significant benefits to our respective nations. Last year two-way trade in goods and services was nearly $20 billion, more than double what it was a decade ago. But given the complementarities of our two economies, this is a fraction of the level it could and should be.

Now we are working with India to secure timely conclusion of a quality Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the RCEP, which would provide a significant boost to regional confidence.”

Modi joked about the ongoing IPL in his speech and said, “I hope your visit to India is as productive as it has been for Steven Smith's batting, the other Australian Captain.”

He added, “In our discussions today, Prime Minister and I reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations. We took forward-looking decisions to further strengthen our partnership, including the decision to soon hold the next round of negotiations on our Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.”

Both the leaders mentioned the TERI-Deakin Research Centre on Nano and Bio Technology. Modi said, “We have just inaugurated the TERI-DEAKIN Research Centre on Nano and Bio Technology, which is a classic example of the kind of cutting-edge science and technology cooperation that is happening between our two countries. The Australia-India Research Fund of nearly 100 million dollars has focused on collaborative research projects in the areas such as nano-technology, smart cities, infrastructure, agriculture and disease control.”

The two leaders got on to the Blue Line of the Metro at Mandi House station. They visited the Akshardham Temple where they were received by priests and given a guided tour.

They held comprehensive discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest and concern.