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24/12/2021 03:36pm

Interim Trade deal likely before full FTA between India & Australia

image Interim Trade deal likely before full FTA between India & Australia

New Delhi, 24 Dec (KNN) Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal and Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan held a virtual meeting on Tuesday and reviewed the progress made in various rounds of talks between the chief negotiators of both the sides on  Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

India and Australia have decided to step up the pace of negotiations to bring off an interim trade deal which will be followed up with a broader FTA.

Earlier this year, both the countries had aimed at securing  FTA, formally called bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, by December 2022 according to media sources. However, an early-harvest deal was to be worked upon by this Christmas. 

According to media reports, the FTA is likely to cover goods, services, investments, government procurement, logistics, standards and rules of origin, among others.

Merchandise trade between the two countries stood at USD  12.3 billion in FY21 with India having a deficit of USD 4.2 billion. 

Major traded items include mineral fuels, pharmaceutical products, organic chemicals and gems & jewellery.

Although talks for an FTA with Australia have been going on since 2011, Indian industry has been somewhat conservative in offering greater access in farm and dairy products. Similarly, Australia was diffident about opening up its services sector. However, in the past two years, the talks have gained momentum.   

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