"We foresee a significant elevation in the level of engagement between Australia and India. India-Australia ties rest on a strong edifice cemented by increasing points of convergence. Both are vibrant, secular and multi-cultural democracies and nurture the desire to have a symbiotic relationship encompassing wide-ranging areas," Ficci President Sidharth Birla said.
Starting his two-day India visit from the country's commercial capita Mumbai, Abbott said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call "come, make in India" was "close in spirit and in intent" to the phrase he had used in respect of Australia that "we are open for business".
Abbott said though there is no dearth of opportunities elsewhere in the vicinity of Australia, there is "an abundance of opportunities" in India.
"We are in the process of initiating projects that will be the building blocks of India's growth such as smart cities, transport systems, clean energy and skill development. We welcome Australia's participation in creating a new India," Birla said.
Birla also placed Abbott's visit in the perspective of the forthcoming G-20 summit in Brisbane in November. Australia is currently the Chair of the G20. Among the areas that Australia has identified as priorities for discussions are subjects like infrastructure financing, skill development and green growth.
"Our new government has also outlined these as priorities and Prime Minister Abbott's visit is therefore opportunely placed to increase bilateral cooperation and advance our mutual interests," Birla said.
The industry chamber pointed out that besides economic and strategic connects, India and Australia have tremendous potential for enhancing people-to-people contact.
Promoting tourism, youth exchanges, educational collaboration and cultural exchanges are integral to the growth of our relationship and we must work with determination to leverage these opportunities, it said.

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