English: Narendra Modi in Press Conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was given a rock star welcome by thousands of rapturous supporters in Sydney on Monday, described warmer relations as "natural".
"This is a natural partnership emerging from our shared values and interests and strategic maritime locations," he said in Canberra after inking agreements on drug control, social security, and tourism, as well a new framework on security cooperation.
"Security and defence are important and growing areas of the new India-
Australia partnership for advancing regional peace and stability and combating terrorism and transnational crimes," he added ahead of addressing parliament.
His comments came a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping used the same venue to repeatedly pledge that his nation, which is involved in territorial conflicts with a handful of neighbours, would always use peaceful means in pursuit of its goals.
Modi's trip Down Under -- for the G20 summit in Brisbane and a state visit -- is the first by an Indian prime minister in 28 years.
It comes just two months after Abbott's tour of India, during which the two countries sealed a long-awaited nuclear energy deal.
Modi, said injecting new momentum into bilateral trade and business relations was also of key importance, calling Australia "a vital partner".
He called for Indian businesses to have easier access to Australian markets and quicker investment approvals.
"India and Australia have a great economic synergy. There are huge opportunities for a partnership in every area we can think of -- agriculture, resources, energy, finance, infrastructure, education and science and technology," he said.
"The economic climate in India has changed. I believe it will be a lot easier to convert opportunities into concrete outcomes."
Move beyond cricket
On Monday, Australia sealed a landmark trade deal with China that will abolish tariffs in the lucrative resources and most agricultural sectors as Canberra confronts a painful downturn in mining.
Abbott already has his eye on a similar outcome with India, flagging the prospect of a pact by the end of next year.