Video: Australia, India to discuss civil nuclear cooperation agreement

Australia is willing to sell uranium to India subject to a safeguard agreement, Patrick Suckling, Australian High Commissioner to India, said here on Wednesday.

According to Suckling, negotiations are on in this regard.

Uranium exports to India cannot begin until the civil nuclear co-operation talks are concluded and Australian requirements, including an undertaking that no uranium will be used in weapons making facilities, are met.

“We are willing to sell uranium provided India assures us that the mineral will be used for peaceful purposes. Negotiations are on,” he said on the sidelines of an interactive session at the MCC Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Bilateral trade between the two nations stood at 18 billion Austrian dollars (approximately Rs 1,00,800 crore) last year. Imports from Australia stood at 15 billion Australian dollars ( approx Rs 84,000 crore) while exports stood at 3 billion Australian dollars (approximately Rs 16,800 crore).

Coal Requirements

According to Suckling, coal export to India is likely to go up over the years considering an increase in demand from the power sector.

Coal import to India stands at nearly 5 billion Australian dollars (approximately Rs 28,000 crore).

At present, export of coal, copper and gold (to India) account for nearly 75 per cent of export trade between the two nations.

abhishek.l@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on April 24, 2013)
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