New Delhi: There has been a 17 percent increase in visitor visa applications for Australia this year, underlying the fast expanding linkages between the country and India in tourism and business, an official statement said Friday.
The business short-stay visa application rate has also increased by 15 percent this year, and will continue to grow as India-Australia economic and trade relations also grow.
"All these are very healthy signs of the growing partnership between our countries and people. Quite simply, Australia and India are rapidly becoming more important to each other," said Australia`s High Commissioner Peter Varghese.
According to official figures, the visitor visa application rate has increased by 17 percent this year and over 50 percent of visitor visa applicants were family members of Indian permanent residents or Australian citizens of Indian origin.
The two-way trade between India and Australia has been growing at about 20 percent year on year for the past five years.
In 2010 two-way trade was approximately Australian $22 billion driven by the strong complementarity between the two economies.
Reflecting this dynamism, Australia and India May 12 agreed to launch negotiations towards a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement.