Want to take bilateral ties with India to new heights: Australian PM Morrison

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Bengaluru, Nov 19 (PTI) Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday said his country plans to take bilateral ties with India to new heights by working together in frontier technologies.

'We have plans to take our entire relationship to new heights.

In June of this year we did just that when my good friend Prime Minister Modi and I met virtually and signed a comprehensive strategic partnership it elevated our partnership,' Morrison said.

In his video address to the the Bengaluru Tech Summit, 2020 (BTS2020), he said Australia and India have unlimited possibilities of working together in space research, critical minerals, 5G, AI, quantum computing and much more.

'We have signed the landmark Australia India Technology Framework Agreement on cyber and cyber enabled technology.

That means Australia and India are working together for an open, free, safe, and secure internet.

That is the foundation for digital economies to work.

We will be soon launching Australia-India Cyber and Critical Technologies Partnership grant program,' he added.

Organised by the Karnataka government along with Karnataka Innovation and Technology Society, the state government's Vision Group on Information Technology, Biotechnology & StartUp and Software Technology Parks of India, the summit that saw the inaugural address by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is scheduled to take place from November 19 to 21.

Stating that the relationship between India and Australia is going from strength to strength, Morrison said 'we share a deep desire to succeed and see our region prosper in peace and safety, as ultimately that is all our technology ambition is all about, the prosperity and safety of us all.' He said that he is proud to be leading a 150 strong virtual delegation of Australian policy makers, industry leaders,startups and world-leading institutions to the Summit.

'Bengaluru, Indias biggest technology cluster, 4th biggest in the world, home to a 3rd of Indias tech professionals and to at least 25 Austraian companies, is pulsing with energy and ambition and it is a place where it is easy to believe that 'Next is Now,' he added.

Highlighting Australia as a great adapter and implementer of technology,the Prime Minister said his country has seen a rapid uptake in technology during the pandemic.

In the first three weeks of the pandemic, one-fourth of Australian businesses changed the way they deliver what they do, almost a quarter changed what they do and almost one-third of them expanded their online presence, he said.

Pointing out that Australian companies have employed thousands of professionals in Bengaluru and Indian companies are also growing their footprints in Australia, Morrison said the Australia India Strategic Research Fund, Australias largest bilateral science firm with any country, is already forging relationships with universities, research institutes and businesses.

In the past decade, 30 AISRF clients have funded Australian and Bengaluru based universities for some pioneering research like quantum computing and astrophysics, he added. PTI KSU RS APR RAVINDRANATH APR RAVINDRANATH