The International Trade Council welcomes the recent signing of the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement, which signals an intention by the two nations to forge closer trade ties.
The virtual ceremony took place on April 2, with Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, witnessing the event.
According to Prime Minister Morrison, the trade deal represents "one of the biggest economic doors there is to open in the world today." The agreement with India will diversify Australia's export markets and reduce its dependence on China, its biggest trading partner.
The agreement removes tariffs on over 85 percent of Australian goods exports to India, worth AUD 12.6 billion ($9.4bn), rising to almost 91 percent over the next ten years. Additionally, 96 percent of Indian goods imports will enter Australia duty-free. The deal includes tariff elimination on sheep meat, wool, copper, coal, alumina, fresh Australian rock lobster, and some critical minerals and non-ferrous metals to India.
Trade Minister Dan Tehan expressed confidence that negotiations would continue, even if the Morrison government was replaced at the upcoming national election.
The International Trade Council believes that this agreement is a positive step towards building stronger economic ties between Australia and India, and welcomes the commitment by both countries to work towards a full free trade agreement in the future.