Neelam Jena / AMN
Australia’s High Commissioner to India Harinder Sidhu today said that India’s IT workers would not be affected by change in visa rules in her country.
“Australia expects most Indians who qualify for work visas in the country at present to continue doing so in the future despite the government’s decision to bring in certain restrictions” she said while interacting with journalists at Indian Women’s Press Corps on Tuesday.
There is growing cooperation between India and Australia on key issues such as defence, energy security, trade and education, Sidhu said
“Every country wants to employ there own people first before they employ people from outside. This is what the changes (in the visa regime) have sought to do.
But it is also a fact that many of the Indian visa holders are in the IT industry where the skilled in Australia are in very short supply. I would expect that people would continue to come in that area,” Sidhu said in reply to questions on visa issue.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently discussed India’s concerns on the tightening of the Australian visa regime with his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull over a telephonic conversation.
The High Commissioner pointed out that India and Australia already had strong bilateral relations which saw a steady rise from 2009 and was given a fresh momentum by the Australian PM’s recent visit to the country.
“Australia wants to carry out an economic study on India. It would focus on how Australia can cooperate with India by moving together on its growth trajectory,” Sidhu said.
A trade delegation will visit India soon to hold an Australian business week in the country to strengthen trade and economic relationship.
The two PMs, in their recent meeting in New Delhi, also talked about working systematically to move the free trade agreement talks ahead.
“We are at the complex end. The easy part is done. Australian officials will visit India in the coming weeks to move talks forward,” Sidhu said.
On the possible sale of uranium to India, the High Commissioner said that with the civil nuclear agreement in place, commercial relations were moving ahead. She said“ agreementl has been arrived between both the countries now its for private companies of australia to decide when they will be in position to start supply of uranium .”We hope it will lead to sale of uranium to India soon,” she said.
Strong partnerships were also being built in the areas of education, sports and maritime security, especially of the trade route through the Indian Ocean, she added.indian occean rim, safe sea lanes are priority area for both countries
IWPC President Shobhna Jain, in her welcome address, said that while the growing convergence between the two countries on key issues including possibility of uranium sale was a distinct positive, India’s concerns in the areas of work visas and racial attacks need to be addressed satisfactorily.