Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met his former Australian counterpart Tony Abbott and discussed ways to further strengthen the bilateral trade, investment, and economic cooperation.

Abbott is visiting India August 2-6 in his capacity as the Australian Prime Minister’s Special Trade Envoy for India.

In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said: “The two leaders discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral trade, investment and economic cooperation to realise the full potential of the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

“Both the leaders emphasised that enhanced economic cooperation between India and Australia would help both countries better address the economic challenges emerging out of the Covid-19 pandemic, and would also help them in realising their shared vision of a stable, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.”

Prime Minister Modi, it said, expressed his satisfaction at the stellar growth of India-Australia ties in recent times and admired the important contributions of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Abbott in this journey.

He also recalled his virtual summit last year with Morrison and reiterated his desire to be able to host him in India as soon as conditions permit.

At the virtual summit held between the two Prime Ministers on June 4 last year, the bilateral relationship was elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, under which India and Australia committed, inter alia, to encourage expanded trade and investment flows for mutual benefit and decided to re-engage on a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

Abbott’s visit is reflective of this shared ambition.

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