Australian exporters, businesses, workers and consumers will soon be able to reap the opportunities and benefits of more open trade with India with the passage of implementing legislation through the Parliament. The Australia-India Economic Co-operation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) was more than 10 years in the making and almost all of the work was done under the Coalition governments headed by Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison.
The Albanese Government has worked hard to expeditiously advance all processes necessary, to ensure Australia is able to implement the bilateral trade agreement with India before the end of 2022.
The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) is a great opportunity for Australian businesses as it will open new markets to reach around 1.4 billion consumers in the world’s fastest growing major economy.
Two-way trade between Australia and India was worth $27.5 billion last year. With India being home to 1.5 billion consumers and the ECTA offering zero tariffs on a range of Australian exports to India, including coal, lentils, sheep meat, wool, lobsters and rare earths, Australian business in these sectors are in a position to benefit immensely under the new trade agreement.
India will be introducing a phased reduction of tariffs for producers of Australian wine and agricultural products including avocados, cherries, nuts, blueberries, almonds, oranges, mandarins, pears and strawberries.
“New trade agreement with India will strengthen our existing trade and economic relationships,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.
This new agreement will create new opportunities for trade diversification and great outcomes for Australian business and Australian families.
“Today’s passage of legislation demonstrates Australia’s commitment to free trade and the rules-based trading system. It is an acknowledgement of the centrality of trade to our economic resilience and ongoing prosperity,” Mr Albanese added.
The ECTA “will support our businesses to grow, to offer more employment opportunities, and will give Australian consumers more choice at the checkout,” minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator the Hon Don Farrell said.
India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said the ECTA will “significantly open up opportunities” for many Indian business sectors.
“Because of this agreement and businesses wanting to set up manufacturing in India, we also see a lot of potential for jobs by Australian investments coming to India — manufacturing in India at scale to serve the Indian market and the rest of the world from India. This will create job opportunities for our young boys and girls,” said Mr. Goyal also thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his diligence in working with both the Morrison and Albanese administrations to ensure the signing and passing of the agreement.
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) November 22, 2022
The ECTA will enter into force 30 days (or another mutually agreed time) after the respective parties have confirmed in writing that they have completed their domestic requirements.
Only last week, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met Prime Minister of Australia H.E. Mr. Anthony Albanese on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Bali.
Both Leaders expressed satisfaction at the excellent state of relations between the two countries under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and the high-level interactions taking place on a regular basis between India and Australia. They reviewed the progress made in deepening cooperation across a diverse range of sectors, including defence, trade, education, clean energy and people-to-people ties. Institutional partnership in the field of education, especially in higher education, vocational education, training and capacity building was discussed in detail.
The Leaders exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest, which included their shared vision for a stable and peaceful Indo-Pacific Region, climate related matters and India’s G20 Presidency.
Prime Minister Modi in Bali said he would be looking forward to welcoming Prime Minister Albanese in India at an early opportunity.
Observers believe the meeting of Mr Modi and Mr Albanese may have added impetus to the ratification of the EFCTA by the Australian government this side of Christmas.
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