India, Australia ink economic cooperation and trade pact to boost ties

New Delhi: India and Australia signed an economic cooperation and trade agreement under which Canberra would provide duty free access in its market for over 95 per cent of Indian goods such as textiles, leather, jewellery and sports products.

India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement was inked by Commerce and Industry Minister PiyushGoyal and Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan in a virtual ceremony, in the presence of Prime Minister NarendraModi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.

This is truly a watershed moment for India-Australia relations, Prime Minister Modi said.Morrison added that the pact will further deepen Australia’s close ties with India.

The agreement will help in taking bilateral trade from USD 27 billion to USD 45-50 billion in the next five years, Goyal said.

Australia is offering zero duty access to India for about 96.4 per cent of exports (by value) from day one. This covers many products which currently attract 4-5 per cent customs duty in Australia.

Labour intensive sectors which would gain immensely include textiles and apparel, few agricultural and fish products, leather, footwear, furniture, sports goods, jewellery, machinery, electrical goods and railway wagons.

Australia is the 17th largest trading partner of India, while New Delhi is Canberra’s 9th largest partner. Bilateral trade in goods and services stood at USD 27.5 billion in 2021.India’s goods exports were worth USD 6.9 billion and imports aggregated to USD 15.1 billion in 2021.

Major exports by India to Australia include petroleum products, textiles and apparels, engineering goods, leather, chemicals and gems and jewellery.Imports mainly include raw materials, coal, minerals and intermediate goods.