Melbourne, Nov 13:
A day before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Brisbane for the G20 summit, Australia is waiting anxiously for the Indian Prime Minister’s overdue visit to commence.
Besides Narendra Modi, US President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indonesian President Joko Widodo will be among the luminaries who are expected to attend the talkfest of the elite international leaders.
The focus of the two-day G20 summit, which will undoubtedly be the largest gathering of world leaders in Australian history, is likely to be on economic reforms, growth and poverty alleviation even though some of the summit participants may like global warming to be discussed too.
Some media commentators are of the view that international taxation might also come up for discussion at the upcoming Brisbane Summit.
Australian Prime Minister – and the current summit president – Tony Abbott is likely to push his domestic pro-fossil fuel agenda Nov 15-16 and may use his position to discourage any talks about the environmental issues which are raging all over the Western world.
Tony Abbott may or may not be able to scuttle discussions on the global warming-related issues but he would definitely try to use the occasion to sell Australia as a tourism destination. The Brisbane G20 Summit would also be used to make progress on various multi- and bilateral talks.
While Australia is not shying away from the fact that it would go all out to impress Chinese President Xi Jinping, the leader of its largest trading partner (two-way trade worth A$150 billion dollars), Prime Minister Modi would definitely get a red carpet treatment wherever he goes in Australia.
Modi would be among the trio of G20 leaders who would get to address joint sessions of the Australian Parliament in Canberra. The Indian prime minister would address the joint session Nov 18 while the Chinese leader gets this opportunity one day before him. He would be the first Indian to get this privilege. The British prime minister would be the third leader who would address the Australian lawmakers.
The Indian leader will be given a full ceremonial welcome in the Australian capital Canberra.
It is expected that India and Australia would discuss various bilateral issues.
Besides Brisbane and Canberra, Indian community members are preparing frantically to organise a public event in Sydney which is expected to be even more spectacular than the Madison Square, New York, reception given to Modi earlier this year.
The two-day G20 Summit will commence in Brisbane Nov 15.
(Paritosh Parasher can be contacted at [email protected])