Perth: India has opened its second consulate in Australia here and made a strong pitch for greater Indian trade and investment with this resource-rich western Australia region. “Today marks yet another important milestone in India-Australia bilateral relations. The inauguration of the new Indian Consulate in the vibrant city of Perth, on the eve of the CHOGM, is truly historic,” Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, here to attend the meeting of foreign ministers of the 54-nation Commonwealth grouping, said Wednesday.
India already has a consulate in Melbourne. Perth is hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting. Vice-President Hamid Ansari is representing India at the summit.
The opening of the second consulate, Krishna stressed, bore testimony to growing relations between India and Australia in all areas. Australia is India’s eight largest trading partner.
Alluding to ongoing negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement with Australia, Krishna called for greater two-way trade and investment.
Western Australia, home to a large Indian community, accounted for 56 percent of total exports from Australia to India in 2009-10, of which more than 85 percent are minerals. “Indian companies have been investing in Western Australia in various sectors. India seeks to further accelerate the pace of economic and commercial engagement with Western Australia,” said Krishna.