On Friday, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal met with his Australian Minister Dan Tehan for “comprehensive talks” in order to finalize an interim trade agreement as soon as possible. Both nations agreed in December to speed up discussions for the early-harvest accord, which will be followed by a larger free trade agreement (FTA).
The India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement will be a new-age FTA that will include not just conventional pillars like goods, services, and investments, but also a wide variety of other vital sectors such as government procurement, logistics, standards, and rules of origin.
Goyal has been working hard to get tariff concessions for Indian products in important sectors such as agriculture and textiles, as well as increased market access to medicines.
In FY21, India had a $4.2 billion merchandise trade deficit with Australia, despite shipping commodities worth more than $4 billion, while bilateral trade was $12.3 billion. Mineral fuels, pharmaceuticals, organic chemicals, gems, and jewellery are among the most important commodities traded.
The talks with Australia are part of India’s wider goal to negotiate “fair and balanced” trade deals with important nations and to revise existing accords to promote trade. After India withdrew from the China-dominated RCEP discussions in November 2019, the movement gathered traction.
Balanced FTAs are also predicted to let the nation benefit from a rebound of industrial demand in advanced countries, allowing it to achieve sustainable growth rates in exports in the future years. Already, India has set a lofty goal of $1 trillion in product exports by FY28. It is on track to meet the ambitious export target of $400 billion in the current fiscal year, up from $291 billion in FY21.