The India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement has been met with enthusiasm by both apparel exporters and fabric mills in India. Ravi Sam, Chairman of the Southern India Mills’ Association, praised the agreement for allowing the import of 51,000 MT of duty-free cotton from January 2023 and 419 MT of duty-free cotton from December 29th to December 31st, 2022. This is expected to benefit the cotton textiles value chain in India, which has been facing a shortage of quality cotton amid increased demand. The highly-labour intensive textiles and clothing industry is also expected to greatly benefit from the pact.
In addition to the duty-free cotton imports, the agreement removes tariffs on exports of Indian textiles and clothing to Australia, boosting the global competitiveness of the Indian textiles and clothing industry. The agreement also provides zero duty market access for certain Indian textile goods, including readymade garments and home textiles, in Australia. The trade pact with the United Arab Emirates and Mauritius has already begun yielding positive results, and the pact with Australia is expected to have similar success.