Looking forward to the first virtual bilateral summit between India and Australia on 4 June, Indian apparel exporters have requested the Indian Government for an early Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
This notably has the potential to more than triple India’s apparel exports to Australia in 3 years.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in discussion with his Australian Counterpart Scott Morrison.
Indian apparel exporters’ official body, Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), has approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani and Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal in this regard.
It is pertinent to mention here that with apparel import of US $ 6.6 billion in 2019, Australia is the 18th largest importer. While China has a major share in this (64 per cent), India’s share is just 1.2 per cent with exports worth US $ 206 million.
“An early conclusion of the India-Australia CEPA would surely impact Indian apparel exports positively. As per our estimates, India can increase additional exports of US $ 500 million in next 3 years, if CEPA with Australia is concluded,” says AEPC.
“Australia presently has preferential agreements with our major competitors like China and Vietnam. Australia also gives GSP benefits to Bangladesh and Cambodia, resulting in a 5 per cent duty advantage for these countries vis-à-vis India,” said Dr. Sakthivel, adding that the bilateral discussions should also include India-Australia CEPA.