India, Australia Sign Trade Deal In Boost To Bilateral Ties

Canberra to provide duty free access in its market for over 95% of Indian goods.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal. (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)</p></div>
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal. (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)

India and Australia on Saturday signed an economic cooperation and trade agreement under which Canberra would provide duty-free access in its market for more than 95% of Indian goods such as textiles, leather, jewellery and sports products.

The India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement was inked by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan in a virtual ceremony, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.

This is truly a watershed moment for India-Australia relations, Modi said. Morrison said that the pact will further deepen Australia's close ties with India.

The agreement will help in taking bilateral trade from $27 billion to $45-50 billion in the next five years, Goyal said.

Australia is offering zero duty access to India for about 96.4% of exports (by value) from day one. This covers many products which currently attract 4-5% customs duty in Australia.

Labour intensive sectors which would gain immensely include textiles and apparel, few agricultural and fish products, leather, footwear, furniture, sports goods, jewellery, machinery, electrical goods and railway wagons.

Australia is the 17th largest trading partner of India, while New Delhi is Canberra's 9th largest partner. Bilateral trade in goods and services stood at $27.5 billion in 2021. India's goods exports were worth $6.9 billion and imports aggregated to $15.1 billion in 2021.

Major exports by India to Australia include petroleum products, textiles and apparels, engineering goods, leather, chemicals and gems and jewellery. Imports mainly include raw materials, coal, minerals and intermediate goods.