Melbourne: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is all set to make his first official visit to India next week to further strengthen the strategic partnership and promote trade and investment between the two sides.
"I will travel to India and Malaysia from September 4 to 6. On my first visit to India as Prime Minister, I will visit New Delhi and India's financial capital, Mumbai, to strengthen the strategic partnership between our two countries," he said.
Noting that the two nations have?strong and growing economic and trade ties, he said India is Australia's fifth largest export market with total exports of USD 11.4 billion.
"There is potential for further cooperation in resources, science, technology and education," Abbott said, adding "My visit will be an opportunity to engage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi early in the term of his government to increase bilateral cooperation to advance our mutual interests".
Abbott is also expected to meet other senior political leaders, including President Pranab Mukherjee.
The visit is also an opportunity to promote trade and investment and promote our G20 objectives ahead of the Brisbane summit in November, he said.
"I will be accompanied on my visit to India by a group of senior business leaders. The delegation reflects the breadth of Australian commercial interests in India and showcases opportunities for further business partnerships," he said.
Speculations are high that Abbott's visit to India would see the two nations sign the much-awaited uranium deal.
From India, the Prime Minister would travel to Malaysia for talks with his counterpart Najib Razak.
"Australia's defence ties with Malaysia are amongst our closest in South East Asia and we feel a deep connection to Malaysia given shared experiences arising from the MH370 and MH17 disasters," he said.