New Delhi, Nov 29 (PTI) India needs to reduce barriers on trade and domestic subsidies to build a stronger economy, Australian High Commissioner to India Harinder Sidhu said as she called for cooperation with New Delhi to work to provide an open and free trade and resist the rise of protectionism globally.
Speaking at an event organised to discuss 'Australia – A Top Tier partner for India in the Indo-Pacific', Sidhu said India and Australia's relationship is at the "strongest point it has been in decades".
"India and Australia must be working together to provide an open and free trade and resisting the rise of protectionism globally. If we work together we can more effectively resist these pressures," she said.
"For both Australia and India, keeping our markets open to trade and investment strongly co-relates to economic growth and in a globalised world it is a fact that nobody can get rich all on their own. Australia's economic success has come from being an open trading nation and we bat for that idea," she added.
She also called for reducing barriers to trade and increasing domestic subsidies, saying it would build a stronger and more resilient relationship.
"India's complexity in bringing economic reforms can act times be challenging. Reducing barriers to trade and domestic subsidies will build a stronger, more resilient and more competitive economy," she said.
"Australia is on its way to building a first tier partnership with India," she said.
On economic front, they should do all they can do to create incentives for stronger trade between two countries, she said, adding that if the right environment is created, then business will follow.
She also said there was a "myth" that "Australia's close relationship with other countries strains our freedom of action".
"Let me set the record straight. Though we have a strong security alliance with the US and a strong economic relationship with China we have always raised concerns with both when required to defend our interests. Being friends does not mean we always agree," she said.
"We were one of the few countries to call out China on its activities in the South China Sea. We have also have been clear with the US on the issues associated with tariff and its withdrawal from Trans-Pacific Partnership. These are some of the many reasons that prove we have independent actions and why India should consider Australia as its strategic partner," she added. PTI UZM AAR