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India, Australia To Conclude Free Trade Agreement Talks By End Of 2023

India, Australia To Conclude Free Trade Agreement Talks By End Of 2023

Both ministers have expressed “unhappiness” with the trade negotiators. (file)

New Delhi:

During the Joint Ministerial Commission meeting between Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and his Australian counterpart Don Farrell on Saturday, both India and Australia agreed to conclude talks to extend the scope of the existing free trade agreement till the end of 2023. committed to. The countries also set a target of reaching US$ 100 billion in bilateral trade.

Australia’s Trade and Tourism Minister Don Farrell, who is accompanying Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on an official visit here in New Delhi, said the two countries can “achieve” this target.

Last year, on December 29, India and Australia brought into force an Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) and are now in talks to expand its scope to a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

“ECTA was the first phase of our economic engagement. We are now entering the second phase of our discussions, where we are looking at a wider spectrum of subjects and will integrate it into the CECA,” Goyal told reporters during a joint press conference here. Taking.” ,

He said the two ministers expressed “unhappiness” with trade negotiators and said they would “be more ambitious and aim for $100 billion in trade between the two economies.”

Farrell said both countries can achieve this goal.

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On the deadline for concluding the CECA talks, Mr Goyal said that though any work done with a deadline is always “dangerous” as “you can make mistakes”, but “we” should do things fast .

He said that both the trade ministers are determined to speed up the talks.

The two Prime Ministers “collectively tasked us to work towards completing the CECA negotiations within this calendar year. We would love to do so. Will expect quick results without compromise.” Mr Goyal added.

He also said that we are very dissatisfied with the $30 billion bilateral trade and the officials of India and Australia have set a target of $45-50 billion in the next five years.

Piyush Goyal said that there are huge opportunities for increasing cooperation in areas such as education, technology, audio-video services and sports.

He said Australia has some “extremely” great technologies, best educational institutions and sports, India can offer in terms of its talent pool, manufacturing base and startup ecosystem.

On increasing agricultural trade with Australia, the Indian Commerce Minister said that there are several areas of mutual interest, which are under consideration of the Ministries of Agriculture on both sides for plans to address sanitary and phyto-sanitary (related to animals) problems.

Following the first India-Australia summit here on March 10 on a range of key issues, Albanese has said the two countries are looking to strengthen the ambitious CECA by 2023, while a joint statement noted that the two prime ministers has entrusted this work to the concerned authorities. Expediting the conclusion of a Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement (MMPA) within the next three months.

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Mr Goyal appreciated Australia for taking care of Indian sensitivities in the agriculture and dairy sectors, where small and marginal farmers are involved.

“We are looking at win-win opportunities in a number of areas that will open up a lot of possibilities such as space technology, Australian education systems and critical minerals, energy storage systems developed in Australia and sport… Our focus is on leveraging and adding to the business on each other’s comparative competitive advantage,” he said.

Farrell said Australia has all the important minerals needed to make batteries for electric vehicles.

He also said that in the first month of ECTA, Australia has sent goods worth USD 2.5 billion to India.

Farrell said the Australian wine industry could come to India and provide support to the sector here in terms of sharing knowledge and quality.

“I hope that in the coming months we will be able to send our teams from India from the wine sector and invite teams from Australia to tie up for mutual cooperation,” Goyal said.

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Piyush Goyal said that India can learn various water sports from Australia as it has a long coastline.

Asked whether Australia wanted to include gender and sustainability issues in the CECA, Farrell said the country was looking at these issues as part of the CECA.

Mr Goyal said India is open to dialogue and seeks to engage with the rest of the world from a position of strength and learn from best practices.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Our Source staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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