NEW DELHI The trade pact with Australia that was ratified by the Australian Parliament on November 22 will “significantly open up opportunities” for many Indian business sectors, said Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday.
Speaking at a press conference, Mr. Goyal welcomed the bipartisan support extended by Australia to the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) that was signed by India with the previous Australian administration under Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The comments from Mr. Goyal came soon after Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese personally announced the passing of the pact by the Australian Parliament.
“Because of this agreement and businesses wanting to set up manufacturing in India, we also see a lot of potential for jobs by Australian investments coming to India — manufacturing in India at scale to serve the Indian market and the rest of the world from India. This will create job opportunities for our young boys and girls,” said Mr. Goyal in his remarks thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for working with both the Morrison and Albenese administrations to ensure the signing and passing of the agreement.
He noted that India and Australia provide “complementarity” to each other saying, “We have nothing where we are competing with each other. We are providing largely finished goods, capital goods and value added goods which gives us a lot of job opportunities for the people in India.”
The Minister compared the India-U.A.E. Free Trade Agreement with the IndAus ECTA and said, “every sector is happy” about the agreements. India-U.A.E. FTA signed in February 18 and the agreement came into Force on May 1. Mr. Goyal said, the agreement will strengthen geopolitical partnership between India and a “friendly democratic country like Australia.
“Our pharma industry will get a big boost because medicines which have already gone through a rigorous approval process from the U.S. and the U.K. will have a pathway of fast-track mechanism to get approval in the Australian regulatory system,” explained Mr. Goyal who also said the textile sector of India will also benefit. “Gem and jewellery will also get high end consumers in Australia, said the senior Minister. Speaking at the ISA Steel Conclave on November 22, Mr. Goyal informed that after the ECTA , “all our steel exports to Australia will become duty-free”.
Earlier, in an interview with The Hindu, the Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia Tim Watts had said that the ECTA was ready to be passed in the Australian Parliament as a committee for treaties in the Parliament had endorsed the pact.
Welcoming the pact Australia’s Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrel said that “closer economic ties with India are a critical component of the Australian Government’s trade diversification strategy. The quality of ECTA, in terms of market access and opportunity for Australian businesses, demonstrates India’s commitment to our bilateral economic partnership”.
The ECTA will give “improved market access” for business classes on both sides, said Mr. Farrel declaring, “I am now looking forward to the second innings: negotiation of a full Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement”.