The Australian Parliament on Tuesday cleared the free trade agreement (FTA) with India, paving the way for strong bilateral trade between the two countries. India and Australia had signed an interim free trade deal—Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) in April this year. Today, Australian PM Anthony Albanese in a tweet said that the free trade agreement with India has passed through parliament.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal called it a landmark moment for Australia and India and congratulated the Prime Ministers of both countries for achieving this significant milestone today. For the first time in Australia’s history, he said, they are giving 100 per cent tariff lines with most lines on "entry into force" and 113 lines within a period of 5 years.
After this deal, Goyal said that visas for Indian chefs and yoga instructors along with the assurance that every child who goes from India to Australia will be given an opportunity for employment there. Stem graduates and doctoral will get 4 years of work visa in Australia and the postgraduate will get 3 years of work visa, he said.
Goyal today said that both major agreements by PM Modi, whether a comprehensive economic partnership with UAE or the agreement with Australia, both were done with the unanimous support of all stakeholders in all three countries - UAE, Australia, and India.
Speaking on the deal, the minister said that the IT sector is the biggest gainer. "IT industry has shared with our industry that if this tax goes away, which has now been approved by the Australian parliament, they can see a quantum jump in their business with Australia," he said.
With this deal, the initial size of bilateral trade between India and Australia can go upto around $45-50 billion in the next 5-6 years, Goyal said.
"We're looking for opportunities to see how Indian businesses can get a bigger market share in Australia. Raw materials coming cheaper to India will help our industry. this will help us add jobs, work opportunities, and start-ups," he added.
The commerce minister further said that the textile sector will benefit and gem and jewellery sector is also excited as they will be able to sell their high-value jewellery in Australia. "The wine industry has welcomed this trade. The Indian wine industry will grow. The Indian wine industry would be able to export Indian wine to Australia," he added.
Australian High Commissioner to India Barry O’Farrell said that the quality of ECTA (Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement), in terms of market access and opportunity for Australian businesses, demonstrates India's commitment to our bilateral economic partnership.
"I am thrilled to see implementing legislation for the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement pass through both houses of Australia’s Parliament without dissent," he said.
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