JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Australia, India sign trade deal in virtual ceremony

Australia, India sign trade deal in virtual ceremony

Saturday, April 02, 2022, 15:40 GMT+7
Australia, India sign trade deal in virtual ceremony
A crane unloads containers from a ship at the Port Botany Container terminal in Sydney, Australia July 6, 2017. Photo: Reuters

Australia formally signed a trade deal with India on Saturday as the two nations signalled an intention to forge closer trade ties.

The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement was signed in a virtual ceremony by Trade Minister Dan Tehan and India's Minister of Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal.

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessed the virtual ceremony.

Morrison is expected to call a general election within days, and has been eager to secure the trade deal before campaigning begins, having been in negotiations with India for a decade. 

Speaking to reporters in Tasmania, Morrison said the agreement with the world's second most populous nation represented “one of the biggest economic doors there is to open in the world today”.

“These are never all or nothing deals as far as we're concerned, we see all of these as the next step and the next step and the next step,” he said, expressing both countries intention to build closer trade links.

Morrison’s government is seeking to diversify export markets and reduce Australia's dependence on its biggest trading partner China, after diplomatic spats led to Beijing sanctioning certain Australian products.

The deal with India removes tariffs on more than 85% of Australian goods exports to India, worth A$12.6 billion, rising to almost 91% over 10 years.

Tariffs will be scrapped on sheep meat, wool, copper, coal, alumina, fresh Australian rock lobster, and some critical minerals and non-ferrous metals to India.

It will see 96% of Indian goods imports enter Australia duty-free.

Both countries would continue to work towards a full free trade agreement, the federal government said on Friday.

After signing the deal, Minister of Commerce & Industry Goyal said India wanted to progress a full free trade agreement with Australia in an “accelerated manner”.

“Soon after this current agreement comes into force, we’ll get down to cracking the whip on the next stage to make this a comprehensive economic partnership,” he said.

Trade Minster Tehan said he was confident negotiations would advance even if the Morrison government was replaced at the upcoming national election.

Scott Morrison lags in the polls leading up to the general election due in May.

“I have very strong hope, no matter who fills our chairs going forward, we’ll be able to … build on this ground-breaking agreement,” he said.



Read more




‘Taste of Australia’ gala dinner held in Ho Chi Minh City after 2-year hiatus

Taste of Australia Gala Reception has returned to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese youngster travels back in time with clay miniatures

Each work is a scene caught by Dung and kept in his memories through his journeys across Vietnam

Latest news