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Visit to India.



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MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER FA73 6 June 2005

VISIT TO INDIA

I will travel to India from 6-9 June to engage in the fourth round of the Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue (FMFD) with my Indian counterpart, Mr Natwar Singh.

My visit will be an important opportunity to reinforce the value Australia places on its relationship with India and to cement our bilateral dialogue on key strategic and economic issues.

I will discuss a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues with Mr Singh. I will also meet with other Indian Ministers and business leaders in New Delhi and Chennai, to support the growing bilateral trade and economic relationship, which is underpinned by strong growth in our exports to India.

Australia-India relations have never been in better shape, with an upturn in high-level political visits, interaction between communities and business, and trade and investment flows. India's increasing strategic importance and sustained economic growth mean it is set to become one of Australia's important regional and bilateral partners.

The FMFD follows this year’s successful Joint Ministerial Commission meeting on trade, Senior Officials’ Talks, and our Strategic Dialogue with India. I last visited India in April 2002.

The Government is committed to developing a dynamic and forward-looking approach to our relationship with India.

Media enquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 / 0419 206 890 Justin Lee(Departmental) 02 6261 1555

Media releases and speeches are available from DFAT via the internet. http://www.dfat.gov.au/