India, Australia sign economic cooperation, trade agreement

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 3, 2022
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India and Australia on Saturday signed the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) that would facilitate the exchange of students, professionals, and tourists, besides boosting the supply chains between the two countries.

Termed "IndAus ECTA," the pact was signed virtually by India's Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and his Australian counterpart Dan Tehan in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Under the agreement, Canberra would provide duty-free access in its market for over 95 percent of Indian goods such as textiles, leather, jewelry and sports products.

The agreement will help take bilateral trade from 27 billion U.S. dollars to 45 billion-50 billion U.S. dollars in the next five years, Goyal said.

India was Australia's seventh-largest trading partner in 2020 and their bilateral trade in goods and services stood at 27.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2021.

India's goods exports were worth 6.9 billion U.S. dollars and imports aggregated to 15.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2021.

The Australian federal government previously said it plans for India to be a top-three trade market by 2035.

Morrison said in a statement that the agreement would create "enormous trade diversification opportunities for Australian producers and service providers."

However, major agricultural exports including dairy and beef were excluded from the interim agreement, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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