With the Australian Government expressing support to the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), says Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution & Textiles. They are expected to soon approach their parliament for approval of the agreement. The agreement is expected to strengthening economic co-operation between both the countries.

The ECTA signed in April needs ratification by Australian parliament before its implementation. “I met Minister Don Farrell, who looks after trade in the new (Australian) government, and he has confirmed that they will be taking the Indus-ECTA to parliament very soon and they support the agreement and would like to further expand their engagement with India in the months and years to come,” Mr. Goyal says. The agreement, once implemented, will provide duty-free access to the Australian market for over 6,000 broad sectors of India, including textiles, leather, furniture, jewellery and machinery. Goyal had earlier said that the agreement would help in taking bilateral trade from $27.5 billion at present to $45-50 billion in the next five years.

Under the pact, Australia is offering zero-duty access to India for about 96.4% of exports (by value) from day one. This covers many products that currently attract 4-5% 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. India’s goods exports were worth $6.9 billion and imports aggregated to $15.1 billion in 2021.