Sydney, Aug 29 IANS | 3 months ago

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced Friday that he will travel to India and Malaysia next week.

On Abbott's first visit to India as prime minister, he said he will visit New Delhi and Mumbai to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries, reported Xinhua.

India is Australia's fifth largest export market with total exports of 11.4 billion Australian dollars ($10.6 billion).

"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. I will also meet other senior political leaders, including the president," Abbott said in a statement.

"The visit will be an opportunity to promote trade and investment and promote our G20 objectives ahead of the Brisbane summit in November."

Abbott will be accompanied to India by a group of senior business leaders who will discuss opportunities for further business partnerships between the two countries.

He will also travel to Malaysia for talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

"Australia's defence ties with Malaysia are amongst the 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.

The two-way trade between Australia and Malaysia was worth almost 18 billion Australian dollars ($16.8 billion) last year.

"Hundreds of thousands of Malaysians have studied in Australia and we will soon see more Australians travelling the other way when Malaysia joins the New Colombo Plan in 2015," Abbott said.

(Posted on 29-08-2014)

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