Australia-India CEO Forum met in New Delhi and focused on identifying opportunities for greater cooperation and economic partnership between businesses from both countries. After the preliminary meeting of the CEOs and Government officials from both sides, the Australian Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, joined the meeting and was briefed on the outcomes by the Forum co-chairs, Gautam Adani, Chairman of the Adani Group, and Sam Walsh, Chief Executive of the Rio Tinto Group. There was consensus in the firm that there is significant complementarities in the strengths of the two countries, and a strong desire to harness them towards substantially enhancing bilateral trade and investment. The Forum reaffirmed the importance of a high quality, mutually beneficial Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) in driving this and called both Governments to be bold and ambitious in their approach to the CECA, to which all the members expressed strong support. "We are confident that the respective strengths of our two economies provide a solid base for ambitious CECA that can deliver new market opportunities, enhance ways to do business, help drive growth, create new jobs and generate greater prosperity for India and Australia. We also welcome the prospect that the CECA outcomes will enable access to cheaper inputs and new technologies, and foster competition, investment and innovation in both countries," said Sam Walsh. Gautam Adani said Indian businesses recognize that resources sector are central to development in both countries and competitively priced stable supplies of Australian minerals and resources can contribute to India's energy security.” He welcomed Government of India’s commitment to closer cooperation in mining, skills development and innovation by forging a joint commitment to supporting the Indian School of Mines in Jharkhand. The CEOs welcomed the Indian Government's introduction of legislation to support a single GST and increase in Foreign Direct Investment caps in the insurance, defence and railways, urging all to embrace and implement economic and regulatory reforms. They hailed opportunities for tariff reductions in boosting bilateral trade and investment. The Forum welcomed the Australian and Indian governments' commitment to increase cooperation in schooling, higher education and vocational education sectors.

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