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Our Free Trade Agreement with India has passed through parliament: PM Anthony Albanese
Anthony Albanese Twitter page

Our Free Trade Agreement with India has passed through parliament: PM Anthony Albanese

| @indiablooms | 22 Nov 2022, 05:01 pm

New Delhi: Australian PM  Anthony Albanese on Tuesday announced his government's Free Trade Agreement with India has been passed by the country's Parliament.

"Our Free Trade Agreement with India has passed through parliament," he tweeted.

The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Minster of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Minister of Textiles, Government of India, Piyush Goyal, and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Government of Australia, Dan Tehan, MP, signed the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement earlier this year, in a Virtual ceremony in presence of the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison.  

The India-Australia ECTA is the first trade agreement of India with a developed country after more than a decade.

The Agreement encompasses cooperation across the entire gamut of bilateral economic and commercial relations between the two friendly countries, and covers areas like Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Trade in Services, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, Dispute Settlement, Movement of Natural Persons, Telecom, Customs Procedures, Pharmaceutical products, and Cooperation in other Areas. Eight subject specific side letters covering various aspects of bilateral economic cooperation were also concluded as part of the Agreement.

 ECTA provides for an institutional mechanism to encourage and improve trade between the two countries.

The ECTA between India and Australia covers almost all the tariff lines dealt in by India and Australia respectively.

India will benefit from preferential market access provided by Australia on 100% of its tariff lines.

This includes all the labour-intensive sectors of export interest to India such as Gems and Jewellery, Textiles, leather, footwear, furniture, food, and agricultural products, engineering products, medical devices, and Automobiles.

On the other hand, India will be offering preferential access to Australia on over 70% of its tariff lines, including lines of export interest to Australia which are primarily raw materials and intermediaries such as coal, mineral ores and wines etc.

As regards trade in services, Australia has offered wide ranging commitments in around 135 sub sectors and Most Favoured Nation (MFN) in 120 sub sectors which cover key areas of India’s interest like IT, ITES, Business services, Health, Education, and Audio visual.

Some of the key offers from Australia in the services space include: Quota for chefs and yoga teachers; Post study work visa of 2-4 years for Indian students on reciprocal basis; mutual recognition of Professional Services and Other licensed/regulated Occupations; and Work & Holiday visa arrangement for young professionals. On the other hand, India has offered market access to Australia in around 103 sub-sectors and Most Favoured Nation in 31 sub-sectors from the 11 broad service sectors such as ‘business services’, ‘communication services’, ‘construction and related engineering services’, and so on. Both sides have also agreed to a separate Annex on Pharmaceutical products under this agreement, which will enable fast track approval for patented, generic and biosimilar medicines.

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