Mon, 05 Dec 2022

New Delhi [India], 22 November (ANI): The India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) is significant as it is the first Free Trade Agreement that New Delhi has inked with a developed country after a decade.

Also, for the first time in Australia's history, they are giving 100 per cent tariff lines, with most lines on Entry Into Force and 113 lines within a period of 5 years, said Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on the ECTA on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Union Minister Goyal said bilateral trade between the India-Australia ECTA can go up to around USD 45-50 billion over the next 5-6 years.

Calling the free trade pact a landmark moment for both countries, the Union minister congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese for achieving this significant milestone. "It reflects the strong bond PM Narendra Modi has built with the government of Australia. It is a big recognition of India's growing stature and capabilities and the businesses we provide to the world, both in goods and services," Goyal added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Australian PM announced that the country's Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India had been cleared by the country's Parliament.

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

The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) was signed on April 2.

Claiming that the free trade pact with Australia is expected to create 10 lakh new jobs in India, Goyal said both major trade agreements under the leadership PM Modi, whether it be the comprehensive economic partnership with the UAE or the India-Australia ECTA agreement, were done with the unanimous support of all stakeholders in these countries.

On the benefit of this trade deal wih Australia, Goyal said the IT sector is the biggest gainer. "Our IT majors had said if the tax was away with -- the same has now been approved by the Australian parliament -- they can see a quantum leap in their businesses in Australia," the Union Minister said.

He added that with the FTA, the country's pharma industry will get a big boost as medicines manufactured indigenously have cleared a rigorous approval processes in the US and the UK and will also get necessary clearances from the Australian regulatory system through a fast-track mechanism.

The Union minister further said New Delhi was looking for opportunities to help Indian businesses gab a bigger market share in Australia.

"Their raw materials are coming to India for cheap and will help our industry. It will also help us add jobs and opening of startups," Goyal said.

"Our wine industry has welcomed this trade as the pact will accelerate its growth. It would be able to export Indian wine to Australia. More than 6,500 grape growers in India will benefit from this deal," the minister added. (ANI)

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