India and Australia Ink Interim Trade Pact to Boost Economic Ties

"This is truly a watershed moment for our bilateral relations," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

2 min read
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India and Australia on Saturday, 2 April, virtually signed the Economic Cooperation & Trade Agreement to boost economic ties between the two countries.

"Consensus on such an important Agreement in such a short period of time shows the mutual trust between the two countries. This is truly a watershed moment for our bilateral relations," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet.

"Great potential between our two economies to fulfill each other's needs. With this Agreement, we'll be able to benefit from opportunities. On the basis of this Agreement, together we'll be able to contribute to increasing supply chains resilience & stability of Indo-Pacific region," he added.

'This Is the Single Largest Australian Govt Investment With India': PM Morrison

Speaking about the deal, Australian PM Scott Morrison said, "This is the single largest Australian government investment in our relationship with India but it won't be the last and now mark another milestone in that relationship. The signing of the IndAus Agreement further develops on the promise of our economic relationship (sic)."

"The pace and scale of our cooperation since we announced our comprehensive, strategic partnership has been remarkable. Some USD 282 million in new initiatives that my government has announced including at the Summit, which will drive our expanding cooperation," he further said.

'India-Australia Trade Pact Will Create 1 Mn Jobs Over Next 5 Years': Piyush Goyal

Meanwhile, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said that India expects to create 1 million jobs in next four to five years.

"A number of new opportunities will open for Indian chefs and Yoga instructors in the time to come. We've also discussed the cooperation of education institutions between India and Australia," he said.

"We're removing trade barriers, which will lead to doubling of trade in the future that'll have great potential for labour-oriented sectors. India-Australia ECTA is expected to take bilateral trade from the existing $27 billion to nearly $45-50 billion in next five years," he added.

"There are over 1 lakh Indian students living and studying in Australia. We're looking at a work and holiday visa arrangement for promoting tourism. A post-study work visa between two and four years will be available for Indian students, particularly for STEM graduates," Goyal further said.

Morrison Government Looking to Reduce Dependence on China

After diplomatic spats between Australia and its biggest trading partner China led to the latter imposing sanctions on some Australian products, the Morrison government is looking to diversify its exports and reduce its dependence on China.

The trade deal with India is set to remove tariffs on more than 85 percent of Australian goods worth $12.6 billion, which are exported to India.

There will be no tariffs for products such as wool, copper, alumina, coal, sheep meat, fresh Australian rock lobster, non ferrous metals and few critical minerals when they are exported to India. The deal will also help in the duty free export of 96 percent of Indian goods to Australia, reported Reuters.

(With inputs from ANI and Reuters.)

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