Australia will try to increase trade with India when the leaders of both countries meet by video-link next month as relations with

Australia will try to increase trade with India when the leaders of both countries meet by video-link next month as relations with China deteriorate.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a virtual summit on June 4 after Mr Morrison’s planned visit to India in January was cancelled due to the bushfires crisis.They are expected to complete a defence agreement on reciprocal access to bases and co-operation on military technology projects, according to .

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (pictured together in 2018) will hold a virtual summit on June 4

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (pictured together in 2018) will hold a virtual summit on June 4

A new education partnership is also on the cards as Australia seeks to diversify its international students

A new education partnership is also on the cards as Australia seeks to diversify its international students

A new education partnership is also on the cards as Australia seeks to diversify its international students so the sector is less dependent on China. 

About 40 per cent of international students in Australia are Chinese but the Chinese ambassador on Canberra last month threatened they would stop coming as relations sour.

Australian also wants to export more goods to India, including agricultural products such as barley after China imposed an 80 per cent tariff on the grain.

The tariff effectively prevents Australian farmers from selling their produce to their largest market, worth $1.3billion in 2018.

On Tuesday agriculture minister David Littleproud said the federal government is urgently searching for more buyers in Saudi Arabia, India, Indonesia and other countries.

US and Australia ships conduct a defence exercise in the South China Sea in April

US and Australia ships conduct a defence exercise in the South China Sea Ports In India in April

‘We will not take our foot off the accelerator in finding other markets,’ Mr Littleproud said. 

With 1.3 billion people and an emerging middle class, India represents a huge opportunity for Australian exporters. 

China’s five-year tariff on barley comes after it finished an 18-month investigation which found that Australia unfairly subsides its farmers.

Trade minister Simon Birmingham has called the claims ‘ridiculous’ and said Australia will appeal to the World Trade Organisation, a process which could take months or years.

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