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Last updated: 12 Mar, 2023  

India.Australia.9.Thmb.jpg India-Australia trade potential

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Bikky Khosla | 12 Mar, 2023

India and Australian are now exploring ways to expand trade cooperation. The two countries implemented an economic cooperation and trade agreement (ECTA) last year and both sides are now looking for expanding the cooperation by signing a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA). It is expected that the ambitious trade pact will be finalised by this year and will usher a new era in India-Australia trade.

At present, India imports $17 billion worth of goods from Australia – India’s 17th largest trading partner - but here it is noteworthy that this import basket comprise mainly raw materials and intermediate goods (96%), primarily coal (96%) out of which 71.4% is coking coal. In contrast, we export finished products (consumer goods) to Australia. The ECTA agreement has proved to be a win-win situation, and with a wider trade pact not far off, it seems India-Australia trade will reach new heights in coming days.

In a discussion between the Indian trade minister and his Australian counterpart, both of them expressed “dissatisfaction” over the $30-billion trade between the two countries at present and also vented their unhappiness with the target of $45-50 billion bilateral trade to be achieved in the next five years. They now set an ambitious target of $100-billion trade by 2030. There are several areas of mutual interest, and it is expected that a CECA will help reach this new goal.

Meanwhile, according to reports, India-US bilateral trade has nearly doubled since 2014. It now stands at $191 billion in 2022. During the India-US Commercial Dialogue meeting last week, the two sides discussed ways and means of enhancing their commercial collaboration and exploring untapped opportunities across multiple sectors. Importantly, they also discussed about creating an enabling investment environment for MSMEs and startups.

I invite your opinions.

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