Joyce welcomes India's Prime Minister
14 November 2014
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, was pleased to represent Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Brisbane today to meet with the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Modi and Minister Joyce spent the afternoon visiting the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), one of Australia’s premier universities.
While at QUT Minister Joyce accompanied Prime Minister Modi to see firsthand a number of high-tech agricultural research projects being pioneered at the university.
Minister Joyce said India was an important friend of Australia and was also a growing trading partner, particularly in agricultural exports.
“It was a great privilege to represent the Prime Minister today and to spend time with Prime Minister Modi on his first visit to Australia. The opportunity to reflect on what we can achieve together as trading nations was of great benefit and an invaluable experience,” Minister Joyce said.
QUT research being showcased today included a banana bio-fortification project, a tropical legumes project, an integrated biofuels project – funded by the Australia India Strategic Research Fund, and spectacular demonstrations of QUTs world famous digital interactive facilities, ‘The Cube.’
"The visit made clear the common interests shared by Australia and India in maximising the benefits to both our countries' agriculture sectors from cooperation in advanced scientific and technological research.
"It's always hard in a brief visit to leave such a distinguished visitor with the best impressions of our nation. But easy going and friendly people working hard for an outcome on a vital issue such as Vitamin A deficiency which causes the death of 670,000 children each year is something QUT and Australia should be very proud of," Minister Joyce said.
"I was certainly proud to show Prime Minister Modi an example today of that commendable work.
“Total two-way trade between Australia and India last year was worth $11.4 billion, with trade between our two countries in agricultural, fish and forest products close to $1 billion annually.
“And there is the potential to grow that to be vastly greater.
“Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry exports to India were valued at $675.6 million in 2013-14. India is a key market for Australian wool and nuts – and our largest market for pulses.
“The ties between our two nations continue to deepen each year and given the vital importance of agriculture to both our nations I believe this closer relationship will deliver benefits for Australian farmers – as well as India’s producers.”