Abbott opens way for uranium sales to India – February 2015

Filed under: Australian Politics, Industrial Relations, Trade,

On a two-day visit to India in September 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott signed an agreement providing a basis for sales of Australian uranium for India’s growing electricity sector.

India, like neighbouring Pakistan, is nuclear armed and not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. But Mr Abbott said he trusted India with the uranium deal because it had been a “model international citizen”.

Before he left Australia, Mr Abbott said he was determined to build a “stronger relationship with the world’s second-most populous nation”, India, which was also “the world’s emerging democratic superpower”.

He said the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had led to “renewed optimism” about India’s future.

A large delegation of senior representatives from the mining, financial and education sectors accompanied the Prime Minister on the visit.

Mr Abbott said the Government would consider negotiating a free trade agreement with India once it has finalised the FTA with China.

He said he wanted to see economic ties between the two nations strengthened and a free trade deal could assist that.

“So, we are serious about free trade. At the moment, our priority is the free trade agreement with China, but there is an abundance of potential in the economic relationship between Australia and India,” he said.

“Once the China agreement is finalised - should that be finalised - obviously, we'll be turning our attention to this one.

“This is already an important economic relationship. I want it to be far more important in the years and decades to come.

“We haven't invested enough time and effort in this particular relationship when it comes to trade and investment.”

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