Business & Partnership

India-Australia free trade agreement soon?

  The long-pending free trade agreement with Australia is expected to be cleared with Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu's visit to the country on June 26. The two coutries are also expected to discuss ways to promote investments.
Jun 19, 2018
The long-pending free trade agreement with Australia is expected to be cleared with Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu's visit to the country on June 26. The two coutries are also expected to discuss ways to promote investments.
 
"We will be discussing in detail the proposed free trade agreement during this visit," Prabhu said.
 
The Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) was initiated between India and Australia in 2011 to promote trade and investments between the countries. There were negations at several levels for liberalizing trade services regime besides removing non-tariff barriers and encouraging investments. But both the countries are yet to resolve several issues including goods (sectors such as agriculture, wines and dairy) and services (easing visa norms for movement of professionals).
 
The minister suggested that Australia might consider to invest in the agricultural infrastructure of the country like the cold storage and food processing as "this will be a win win for both the sides".
 
Met Steven Ciobo, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Australia during my visit to Paris. India and Australia have much in common, underpinned by shared values, expanding economic engagements and increasing high level interactions, stated Prabhu. 
 
This meeting holds much significance since Australia  is the member in the mega trade deal - Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which includes 16 member countries. In fiscal year 2016-17,  bilateral trade between India and Australia increased to USD 18 billion from USD 14.11 billion in the previous fiscal. Trade balance is highly in favour of Australia.
 
Apart from Canberra the Asia Society & UNSW, one of Australia's leading universities,  has invited Prabhu to a special 'Leaders on Asia' address in Sydney 26 June.

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