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Current Affairs

India-Australia interim trade agreement

Date: 15 February 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

 An interim trade agreement will be concluded between India and Australia in March. It will be followed by Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) 12-18 months thereafter.

 

Details

  • The interim or early harvest agreements will be used to liberalize tariffs on the trade of certain goods between two countries before a comprehensive FTA (Free Trade Agreement) is concluded.

  • It will cover areas of interest for the countries such as goods, services, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures and customs procedures.

 

Indo-Australia trade

  • Bilateral trade between the two countries is about $12.5 billion in FY21 and has already surpassed $17.7 billion in the first 10 month of FY 22.

  • India has exported merchandise worth $5.6 billion and imported $12.1 billion from Australia in the first 10 months.

  • Exports from India include diesel, petrol and gems and jewellery while main imports are coal, LNG, gold etc.

 

Issues involved

Both the countries have respected concerns of each other. Beef, dairy and wheat are sensitive for India and Australia will not seek market access for these products.

 

Benefits

  • Sectors such as mining, pharmaceuticals, health, education, gems and jewellery, railways, tourism, defence and textiles will bring opportunities for India.

  • Australia will be seeking access for wines and agricultural products while India will be seeking easier visa access for both students and professionals.

 

Other agreements

  • A mutual recognition of educational qualifications will be set so that students from both countries can get access to educational institutes.

  • A MoU has been signed between the two countries to boost tourism. There are agreements for sharing critical minerals and rare earth elements.

 

Role of QUAD

QUAD has given the impetus for increasing trade relations between all members. A framework for economic cooperation will soon be set up.