Australia and India sign free trade agreement as Australia promotes market diversification

Australia and India will conclude a tentative free trade agreement in the next three weeks. This is seen as an important move in deepening trade relations and promoting Australia’s diversification.

This agreement precedes the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (CECA), which is scheduled for 12-18 months, and includes a variety of education, agriculture, energy, tourism, infrastructure, mining, health, jewelry, jewelery and defense. The aim is to increase opportunities for both countries in the field. And textiles.

This was after numerous negotiations between Australia and India over the last 11 years, and last year former Prime Minister Tony Abbott called for support in stagnant negotiations.

Interim or early harvest trade agreements aim to liberalize trade in certain commodities or tariffs on trade zones between the two countries before the CECA is finalized.

This move is seen as a milestone in Australia-India trade relations, with bidirectional trade in goods and services reaching $ 14.3 billion in 2020, almost doubling from 13 years ago. I am.

Australia’s trade minister, Dan Tehan, said Monday that the long-awaited free trade agreement with India is important for Australia as the country continues to drive diversification following a widespread export ban from China. ..

“We will continue to very strongly defend the current actions taken by exporters and China. In the meantime, we will continue to find alternative markets,” he told ABC Radio on February 21. Told.

Australia’s share of trade covered by the deal has risen from 27% almost 10 years ago to 75%, Tehan said.

On February 10, the Minister called the deal “a potential game changer in opening opportunities in both Australia and India” and “an important part of the post-COVID economic recovery.”

Epoch Times Photo
Indian Rail Minister Piyush Goyal (L) will resign after a meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Parliamentary Commission held at the Parliament Building in New Delhi on December 11, 2019. (Photo by Prakash Singh / AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the Minister of Commerce and Industry of India Piyush Goyal It is noted that the Early Harvest Agreement covers “most areas of interest to both countries”, including goods, services, rules of origin, hygiene and phytosanitary measures, and customs clearance procedures. Indian Express reported on February 15th.

Australia and India Negotiation start fOr it was a trade agreement in May 2011, and it went through nine negotiations. Discussions stalled in September 2015 due to market access issues, especially agriculture and services, but negotiations resumed in June 2020 under the Morrison government.

Former Defense Ministry official Justin Brown said last year that trading with India was a “big win” for Morrison’s trade diversification agenda for India’s large markets, especially when it comes to exporting goods and services. It will be. However, he said the challenge was “to develop a commercially meaningful package.”

“Access to the agricultural market is Australia’s top priority in negotiations, but India didn’t want concessions that could lead to turmoil in the sector, which accounts for about 40 percent of the country’s employment,” he said. increase. Written in The Interpreter on September 21, 2021.

“Early harvests are likely to come from each country’s economic strategy on trade facilitation issues such as fintech, investment promotion, critical minerals and skills, education and capacity building.”

“Trade negotiations are a fierce exchange of concessions,” he added, adding that “the outcome is beneficial to both sides.”

“Brinkmanship is an inevitable part of them, and given that they are at stake, it is unlikely that current negotiations will be completely smooth.”

Relations between India and Australia have recently been strengthened as they are members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, along with the United States and Japan. Quad “Permanent strategic balance” In the Indo-Pacific region that protects the interests of members of the country.

Nina Nguyen


Nina Nguyen is a Sydney-based reporter. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Contact her at [email protected]

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