India and Australia sign landmark free-trade deal


India chose to clear trade obstacles when it signed the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement with Australia on Saturday, promising to quadruple bilateral trade between the two nations in the coming years. During a press conference, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal stated that the deal will assist increase bilateral trade from $27 billion to $45-50 billion in the next five years.

The change, which was made possible by an interim agreement, will boost Indian exporters in over 6,000 different industries, including textiles, leather, furniture, jewellery, and equipment. The agreement was signed after a ten-year period of negotiations between India and Australia.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia spoke on the occasion, saying that the trade accord inked with India will “deepen our strong connections.” “The pace and scale of our cooperation since we announced our comprehensive, strategic partnership has been remarkable. The $282 million in new initiatives that my government has announced including at the summit will drive our expanding cooperation,” he said.

Morrison stated that Saturday’s deal was Australia’s single largest investment in India, but that it would not be the last. “The signing of the IndAus Agreement further develops on the promise of our economic relationship,” he said.

Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan inked the agreement. Following the signing of the agreement, Prime Minister Modi complimented the two nations’ mutual trust and stated that the agreement was a “watershed moment” in bilateral ties.

It’s worth noting that Australia has offered India duty-free access to 96.4 percent of its exports since day one. In addition, Australia has offered duty-free access to nearly 12,000 Indian items (95 percent) in the Australian market as part of this agreement. In the following five years, the pact’s reach will be expanded to encompass 100 percent of Indian goods. Under the Economic Co-operation and Trade Agreement, roughly 70% of Australian products will have duty-free and preferential access to the Indian market.