The Australian Parliament has approved a free trade agreement with India, announced Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Tuesday.
The India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement was signed between the two countries in April this year, reported PTI. While the Union Cabinet approves such pacts in India, it needs to be ratified by Parliament in Australia.
“A result of our deep friendship, it sets the stage for us to unleash the full potential of our trade ties and spur massive economic growth,” Goyal wrote in a tweet.
The Australian government will now take approval on the pact from its executive council as well as the Union Cabinet in New Delhi, Goyal said at a press conference.
After these approvals, which Goyal said will be received quickly, New Delhi and Canberra will decide on a date to implement the pact, according to PTI.
The agreement, once implemented, will provide over 6,000 sectors in India, including textiles, leather, furniture, jewellery and machinery, duty-free access to the Australian market. Under the pact, Australia is offering zero-duty access to India for about 96.4% of exports.
Currently, many of these products attract 4-5% customs duty in Australia.
On Tuesday, Goyal said that the size of bilateral trade between India and Australia under the pact can rise up to around $45-50 billion (about Rs 3.67 lakh crore to Rs 4.08 lakh crore) in the next five to six years, reported ANI.
In 2021-’22, India’s goods exports to Australia stood at $8.3 billion (about Rs 67,771 crore) and imports from the country was $16.75 billion (around 1.36 lakh crore), according to PTI.
Goyal said that the textile and pharmaceutical sectors would benefit from the deal. The wine industry as well as gem and jewellery companies would be able to sell their products in Australia, the minister added.
“We are looking for opportunities to see how Indian businesses can get a bigger market share in Australia,” he added, according to ANI. “Raw materials coming cheaper to India will help our industry. This will help us add jobs, work opportunities and start-ups.”
Meanwhile, Australia’s Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell said that the agreement will support businesses, offer more employment opportunities and give Australian consumers more choices.
Farrell added that Australia will work closely with the Indian government to implement the trade agreement as soon as possible.