An Indian trade official has warned Australia not to get too optimistic about signing new deals with the sub-continental giant, unless they are clearly "mutually beneficial".
The warning comes as optimism swirls around Monday's talks between Malcolm Turnbull and his Indian counterpart, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and suggests the initial goodwill will run into institutional resistance when talks reach the detailed stage during negotiations.
With trade between Australia and India lagging well behind that of Australia and China, Mr Turnbull is hopeful he can reopen stalled free trade talks, and dramatically increase Australian exports of energy commodities, higher education, and professional services.
Mr Turnbull used a speech on Thursday evening ahead of his departure for Papua New Guinea en route to India, to emphasise the opportunities for expansive Australian exports of coal - particularly through the giant Adani Carmichael mine slated for Queensland's Galilee basin - as well as natural gas and uranium.
The deal to supply Australian uranium was signed under Labor's Julia Gillard and has since been finalised.
With nearly 1.3 billion people and a middle class some of 300 million, the demand for first-world services and facilities is expected to be significant for decades to come.
But India has maintained trade barriers in the form of import tariffs, which the official noted often range between 12 and 15 per cent.
"Any new deals would be only possible if they're were mutually beneficial," he said.
Australia is already a major exporter of education services to Indians but Mr Turnbull hopes to significantly increase that trade in coming years.
Australia also wants to supply a range of professional services to India as it builds hundreds of billions of dollars worth of new infrastructure, from roads and rail facilities to ports, hospitals, schools, universities and sporting stadiums.
The scale of the opportunities is enormous: there are currently some 260 million children in schools in India - more than 10 times Australia's population.
Defence materiel is another area of focus for Australia, although India applies strict conditions on defence contracts. It seeks local partnerships to ensure Indian content, the development of local knowledge and military expertise, and of course, manufacturing jobs.
While Australian opposition to the Adani project is intense, India remains firmly committed to seeing the development of what would be the world's largest coal mine.
"India provides two-thirds of its energy from thermal coal," the official said, "and we see Adani as a flagship project".
Mr Turnbull said "with a growth rate at more than 7 per cent annually, the Indian economy could be as large as that of the United States by 2050".
Successive Australian governments have attempted to improve integration of the two economies but have run into Indian inertia at times. Free trade talks have been ongoing and were expected to accelerate after the then prime minister Tony Abbott set an ambitious 12 month timetable on them, however, they have since bogged down.
Officially, both sides call it a stocktake but privately, Australian government representatives say the Indians have become more interested in progressing the multilateral Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) - to which Australia is also a party - and have put all of their bilateral talks on hold.
Mr Turnbull's "state visit" will coincide with the visit of his Education Minister Simon Birmingham and a large contingent of Australian university vice-chancellors, eager to unlock an even larger slice of india's burgeoning higher-ed market.