Australia commends Indian diaspora’s contribution

June 23rd, 2008 - 2:35 pm ICT by IANS  

By Neena Bhandari
Canberra, June 23 (IANS) Australia has commended the growing Indian diaspora in the country for its contribution in enhancing bilateral links. In a joint statement issued following the fifth Australia-India Foreign Ministers Framework Dialogue held here Monday morning, Smith said the “Indian diaspora in Australia is making a tangible contribution to enhancing bilateral links”.

Recognising the diverse and expanding people-to-people links underpinning this bilateral relationship, Smith and India’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee called for more youth exchanges in various fields, including young professionals, to build up people-to-people connections and take the bilateral partnership forward over the coming decades.

Australia agreed to a proposal for sending a group of Australian Youth Ambassadors to India in the near future.

India has become the third largest source of international immigrants and second largest source of skilled migrants and international students to Australia. Young Indians are helping strengthen the Australian economy with 15,865 professionals seeking permanent residence under the skilled migration programme during 2006-2007.

According to the 2006 Census conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were 234,720 people of Indian origin in Australia.

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