India and Australia yesterday agreed to conclude a free trade agreement by 2022 end and an early harvest trade deal by as early as December this year. The decision to expedite negotiations for India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) was taken at a meeting between commerce minister Piyush Goyal and Australian minister for trade, tourism and investment Dan Tehan.
”We have agreed on aggressive timelines (for concluding the trade pact)”, Goyal told reporters at a joint press conference in New Delhi. Both sides concluded the 17th India-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission.
Under the early harvest agreement, duties on certain selected items will be reduced. The two sides decided to have an exchange of offers regarding the proposed CECA agreement by October.
India and Australia yesterday agreed to conclude a free trade agreement by 2022 end and an early harvest trade deal by as early as December this year. The decision to expedite negotiations for India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement was taken at a meeting between commerce minister Piyush Goyal and his Australian counterpart Dan Tehan.
”This is like a T-20 match, that is why such aggressive timelines. The spirit of this partnership is that both India and Australia work in the same team for a win-win for each other,” said Goyal.
India-Australia bilateral trade has exceeded Au$24 billion last year. The proposed trade agreement would cover trade in goods and services, and investment, among others.
”It will be consistent with Article 24 of the WTO, and it will cover goods, services, investment, we will begin discussing government procurement energy and resources, logistics and transport, standards, rules of origin and we have agreed to exchange offers by the end of October. Now, this is extraordinarily ambitious,” Tehan said.
Goyal said that both India and Australia ”have a very positive interest in expanding trade, which could be kick-started or which could be implemented in the interim, while the contours of the final agreement may take a little longer period of time”.
The interim agreement or the early harvest deal, he said, will ”cover areas of immediate interest, you could call them the low hanging fruits”.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)