BY SHRI K.R.NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE RECEIVING CREDENTIALS FROM MS.
PENELOPE ANNE WENSLEY AO, HIGH
COMMISSIONER-DESIGNATE OF AUSTRALIA
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 11, 2001
me great pleasure to receive the Letter of Credence accrediting you as
High Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Australia to the Republic of
India. I extend you a warm welcome and hope that you will find your stay
in India both enjoyable and rewarding.
2001 coincides with a memorable time in Australia’s history, the centenary
of Federation. This reminds us of the similarities in our historical experiences
and the fundamental essence that goes into the making of our vibrant and
multi-cultural societies that draw strength from the democratic traditions
that we have evolved over a period of time. The Indian Ocean connects
us and as fellow members of the Commonwealth, we share common global concerns.
Australia have enjoyed cordial relations. I am convinced that we have
now reached a certain maturity in our relationship and we must strive
to strengthen it further. The stage was set with the exchange of several
high level visits in the last two years, particularly by Prime Minister
Rt. Hon’ble Mr. John Howard and Foreign Minister Mr. Alexander Downer
to India and by Indian Minister for External Affairs Mr. Jaswant Singh
to Australia for the inaugural Foreign Minister’s Framework Dialogue.
This resulted in several important policy initiatives including the launching
of our Security Dialogue. The recent electoral victory of Prime Minister
Howard will give definite continuity to these initiatives. Our Prime Minister
will have an opportunity to meet him when he visits Australia for the
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in next March.
It is also
gratifying that our economic relations are expanding. A host of agreements
have been signed between our two countries and these provide institutional
framework for growth of bilateral trade and investments. Bilateral trade
has doubled in the past decade and we hope that trade target set by the
India-Australia Joint Commission of Australian Dollars 4 billion would
be realised in the next few years.
and education have emerged as other vital links, promoting people to people
contacts between India and Australia. Australia has become second most
attractive destination after the US for Indian students seeking higher
education abroad. The Indian community in Australia has also helped to
contribute to better appreciation of our two cultures.
I am confident that during your assignment here, both countries will continue
to work together to further consolidate and expand our bilateral relations.
I also take this opportunity to assure you our full understanding and
cooperation in your endeavor for promoting India-Australia bilateral relations.