The Foreign Minister of Australia, Marise Payne has announced a project worth $25 million towards South Asian infrastructure projects. The Minister said the project is a step towards increasing its footprint in Indian Ocean Region while also giving fresh impetus to economic connectivity in South Asia
Extending support to South Asia, Australia has pledged $25 million to enhance its economic cooperation with the region. The Foreign Minister of Australia, Marise Payne made the landmark announcement during the Raisina Dialogue held in New Delhi. She added that Australia is looking at greater economic connectivity in South Asia and aspires to increase footprint in the Indian Ocean region.
Elaborating on the venture, the Australian Foreign Minister explained that it extends over a period of four years. While shedding light on the country’s interest in the region of Indian Ocean, she provided an insight into trade relations between Australia and the region. Payne pointed out that five of the country’s top 15 partners in trade lie on the rim of the Indian Ocean. India is prominent on this list. She outlined the importance of Indian Ocean region to Australia by sharing that a majority of Australia’s exports depart from the ports of the Ocean. That apart, a substantial volume of global trade crosses it. She also stressed upon the importance of the “peaceful and open character” of the ocean, which, she noted, is vital to the “national interest for Australia”.
“The focus (is) on improving the quality of infrastructure and investment particularly in transport and energy sectors—sectors with an important economic value-add. A particular aim of the SARIC initiative will be to deploy Australia’s expertise in these sectors and to leverage our comparative advantage in infrastructure policy and financing—such as in infrastructure financing and public private partnerships, well-known to our processes in Australia,” The Minister stated.