Australian Foreign Minister to discuss trade and investment, human rights

Australia     Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will meet Sri Lankan Government Ministers to discuss trade and investment, human rights and cooperation on combatting people smuggling, the Australian Foreign Ministry said.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka from 13-15 November.

Australia, as Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, has worked hard to strengthen and reform the Commonwealth to ensure it remains an effective and modern organisation.

The Minister will meet Sri Lankan Government Ministers to discuss trade and investment, human rights and cooperation on combatting people smuggling. Ms Bishop will also meet leading members of Sri Lankan opposition parties.

“I hope that Sri Lanka will use the opportunity of hosting CHOGM to underline its commitment to freedom, human rights and post-conflict reconciliation and to show the world that progress has been made in these areas,” she said.

Ms Bishop will then travel to India to hold discussions with government and business leaders in New Delhi and Mumbai from 15-18 November.

“I am pleased to be the first minister of this Government to visit India, an important strategic partner for Australia,” Ms Bishop said.

“I will be following up my recent discussions with Foreign Minister Khurshid in Perth last month, where we explored options for deepening trade and investment links,” she said.

India is Australia’s fifth-largest export market and a major source of foreign investment. It is Australia’s largest source of skilled migrants and second largest source of international students.

In Mumbai, Ms Bishop will formally open the offices of the Australian Consulate General.

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