India and Australia ties and importance of Indo-Pacific region, Civil Services reforms: The need for lateral entry Current Affairs 19th July, 2017

India and Australia ties and importance of Indo-Pacific region, Civil Services reforms: The need for lateral entry Current Affairs 19th July, 2017

India and Australia ties and importance of Indo-Pacific region

Introduction:

India and Australia have several commonalities, which serve as a foundation for closer cooperation and multi-faceted interaction, on lines similar to what India has developed with other Western countries.

The relationship has grown in strength and importance since India’s economic reforms in the nineties and has made rapid strides in all areas – trade, energy and mining, science & technology, information technology, education and defence.

With India being the emerging democratic superpower of Asia and Australia with its matured economy, gives more scope for the relationship between India and Australia to be developed and strengthened further.

Deepening ties with Australia:

The shared history with Australia, coupled with the shared democratic values and a strong interest in a secure Indo-Pacific region, provides India with a firm foundation upon which we can confidently pursue future engagement activities in support of joint interests.

  • India is Australia’s ninth largest trading partner, with boundless potential for growth.
  • Indian-origin residents are the fourth largest group of overseas-born Australians, representing close to 2% of our total population. They make a strong contribution to our country across all fields — business, science and medicine, education, arts and culture and sports.
  • Strong naval ties: Australia-India Exercise (AUSINDEX) was conducted for the second time, this time off Australia’s west coast.

India and Australia’s shared commitment in Indo-Pacific Region:

  • Australia and India share converging interests and similar outlooks on the strategic changes taking place in the Indo-Pacific region and globally.
  • Shared commitment to ensure the Indo-Pacific region — the most dynamic in the world — remain peaceful and increasingly prosperous.

The existing post-World War II (rules-based) order has formed the basis for the extraordinary economic growth we have seen in many parts of the world, and more recently in Indo-Pacific region.

Democratic principles and practices where leaders are accountable and the rights of citizens are respected, sound foreign affairs and  engagement between nations – are essence of this international rules-based system.

However now this rules-based order is under pressure. Strategic competition is leading to unilateral action. Rising nationalism is leading to a narrower conception of national interests, and a more transactional approach to negotiations.

Both India and Australia view that there is a need to build and strengthen international institutions that promote cooperation and manage competing interests in fair and transparent ways, in order to maintain regional and global stability.

Both the countries are determined to strengthen regional prosperity by maintaining an open, integrated regional economy, underpinned by liberalised trade and investment.

Strategic aspects of Indo Pacific region :

Economic growth is transforming the Indo-Pacific region, which is becoming the global strategic and economic centre of gravity.

By 2030, the Indo-Pacific region is expected to account for 21 of the top 25 sea and air trade routes; around two-thirds of global oil shipments; and one third of the world’s bulk cargo movements.

Reports predict that by 2050, half of the world’s top 20 economies will be in the Indo-Pacific.

With the region being very important, improving security will be crucial. Under these circumstances the two countries should focus on a greater defence engagement.

India and Australia need to increase our bilateral cooperation and our collective efforts with other like-minded countries. Together we can shape a future region in which strong and effective rules and open markets deliver lasting peace and prosperity — free markets and free people.

As Asia emerging as a pivotal point for global countries in 21st century, both the countries hope to develop a broad-based strategic partnership which covers the economic, political and security dimensions and to achieve this it is prerequisite for both countries to move beyond their comfort zone and learn how to work with each other in new and different ways.

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