BY SHRI K R NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE ACCEPTING THE CREDENTIALS
FROM MR. ROBERT STEPHEN LAURIE, HIGH COMMISSIONER-DESIGNATE
OF AUSTRALIA TO INDIA
NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 28, 1997
It gives me great
pleasure to receive the Letter of Credence accrediting you as the High
Commissioner of Australia to India. I should like to extend to you a very
warm welcome to India.
India and Australia
enjoy warm and cordial relations underpinned by a common commitment to
the ideals of democracy, individual freedoms and a pluralistic society.
As members of the Commonwealth, India and Australia share bonds of language
and of democratic, legal and administrative traditions. As we move into
the 21st century, these enduring affinities will reinforce the excellent
relations between our two countries.
The last few years
have witnessed a significant improvement in our bilateral cooperation.
Two way trade has crossed A$ 2 billion and has diversified to include,
apart from traditional products, high technology items. Australia is also
emerging as an important investor in India. The opening up of the Indian
economy offers vast opportunities for Australian companies particularly
for the development of key infrastructural sectors such as power, oil
and natural gas, highway construction, expansion and modernization of
ports, to which my Government attaches high priority. Tremendous potential
also exists in other areas such as mining, food-processing, health and
government had very successfully organized the "Australia - India
New Horizons Promotion" in India last year. I recall my own pleasant
and fruitful visit to Australia in April 1994 on the occasion of "India
Today - 1994" festival. I am confident that the business communities
in both countries are taking advantage of the opportunities offered by
New Horizons Promotion approach.
Excellency, the Asia-Pacific
region has emerged as an important area of growth and economic dynamism
in the world. Strengthening ties between our two countries will benefit
not only the people of our countries but also contribute to peace, security,
stability and economic development of this region. India looks forward
to closer interaction with Australia in regional groupings of the Asia-Pacific
and the Indian Ocean Rim. As India rapidly expands its economic cooperation
with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, we hope to participate
as a full member of the APEC process. Equally, we seek to intensify our
cooperation in multilateral fora such as the United Nations and the Commonwealth.
wishing you a fruitful tenure in India, I assure you of our full cooperation
in your efforts to further strengthen relations between the Governments
and the peoples of our two countries. I also avail myself of this opportunity,
to convey through you my best wishes to the Government and the people