Last month in Senate Estimates the Government admitted it has sat on Peter Varghese’s report – An Indian Economic Strategy to 2035 – since April this year. That’s seven months after having received the report, despite India being Australia’s fifth largest trading partner.
With the visit of Indian President Ram Nath this week, it is high time that the Government announced its response to the report. Labor has already provided in-principle support for the report’s 10 priority recommendations. In July the former Trade Minister said the report was designed to provide a “roadmap” to “look beyond” the immediate horizon.
Given the chaos of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government, it’s clear they’ve taken their eyes off the road when it comes to trade. Hopefully this week the Government can avoid further diplomatic blunders and advance our nation’s interests by formally responding to this important report.