Australia announces free trade agreement with India


Australian Parliament has passed the country's Free trade Agreement (FTA) with India today, Tuesday, announced Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on his official Twitter handle. The deals are crucial for Australia to diversify its exports from the troubled Chinese market to India and to forge new bilateral trade relations.

"BREAKING: Our Free Trade Agreement with India has passed through parliament," Albanese tweeted.

Trade Minister Don Farrell said India had demonstrated its commitment to the bilateral economic partnership through the quality of the deal struck.

Once implemented, the trade agreement will provide duty-free access to the Australian market for over 6,000 broad sectors of India, including textiles, leather, furniture, jewellery and machinery, PTI reported.

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, as per PTI reports.

As Australia moves towards a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, the Committee has noted the importance of improved tariff reductions, greater access to services, and on broader matters like intellectual property, cultural heritage, the environment, and labour rights, Wilson said.

This came after Albanese announced his visit to India in March next year. The Australian Prime Minister made this announcement on the sidelines of the 17th edition of the G20 summit.

Addressing the presser on Wednesday (Local Time), Albanese said, “I also met with Prime Minister Modi of India, where we discussed the finalization of the closer economic cooperation agreement between Australia and India, which we regard as being very important for expanding the economic relationship between Australia and India."

“I will visit India in March. We'll take a business delegation to India. And that will be an important visit and an upgrade in the relationship that we have between our two nations," he said.

He also informed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Australia next year for the Quad Leaders' meeting and then he will return to India later in the year for the G20 Summit.