India is looking forward to acquiring uranium from Australia for its nuclear power program; in this regard, talks have commenced between the two countries. The two countries plan to work towards a civil nuclear co-operation movement as Australian PM Julia Gillard arrived in New Delhi on October 17, 2012.
A joint statement from India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Australian counterpart has stated that India welcomes Australia’s move to lift the ban on its uranium export to India, as the country looks forward to nuclear energy playing an important part in its future energy needs.
Australia currently has a large chunk of the world’s uranium, with some estimates putting it at 40 percent, a part of which is currently being exported to China, Taiwan, Japan and the US. Earlier the island country did not sell its uranium to India as the latter was not part of a Treaty for Nuclear Non-Proliferation.
According to the joint statement, both countries will start talks for a bilateral civil nuclear co-operation agreement, which is a pre-requisite for Australia to sell its uranium to other countries. Manmohan Singh went on to say that the negotiations indicate Australia’s recognition of India’s energy requirements. With the talks, economic ties between the countries would be strengthened as bilateral trade is already growing at 20 percent every year, and is currently worth $20 Billion.