• India and Australia expressed their commitment for concluding the negotiations for expanding the scope of existing free trade agreement by the end of this year with an aim to push the bilateral trade to $100 billion at the 18th India-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission Meeting in New Delhi.
• India-Australia bilateral trade exceeded $31 billion last financial year.
• Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and his Australian counterpart Don Farrell met on March 11 to discuss next steps for further enhancing the bilateral economic relationship.
• Ministers discussed implementation of the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), negotiations for the India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) and further developing two-way investment.
• On December 29, 2022, India and Australia implemented ECTA and are now negotiating to expand its scope for CECA.
• They also discussed engagement in the G20, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese look forward to swift progress in negotiations and an early conclusion of an ambitious CECA, which will build on the foundation laid by ECTA, including new areas of trade, investment and cooperation.
• CECA will create new employment opportunities, raise living standards and improve the general welfare in both countries.
• Ministers look forward to concluding CECA as soon as possible, are pleased with the progress resolving various bilateral technical market access issues and look forward to continuing engagement.
India, Australia CECA negotiations
• India and Australia launched negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement in May 2011. There were many rounds of negotiations before both countries decided to suspend negotiations in September 2015, pending the outcome of other multilateral regional negotiations.
• In June 2020, as part of the Joint Statement on a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between India and Australia, Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Scott Morrison decided to re-engage on a bilateral CECA while suitably considering earlier bilateral discussions, where a mutually agreed way forward can be found.
• In 2021, at the 17th India-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission meeting on September 30, ministers Piyush Goyal and Dan Tehan formally re-launched CECA negotiations and reaffirmed their commitment to liberalise and deepen bilateral trade in goods and services.
• Recent years have seen remarkable growth in the trading relationship between India and Australia, fuelled by the many complementarities between the two economies.
• India mainly exports refined petroleum, medicaments, railway vehicles including hovertrains, pearls and gems, jewellery, and made-up textile articles. While imports include coal, copper ores and concentrates, gold, vegetables, wool, fruits and nuts, lentils, and education-related services.
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