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Australia To Sign Trade Agreement With India On Sunday To Eliminate Tariffs


Australia and India will sign a trade agreement on Saturday – Australia

SYDNEY:

Australia will sign a trade agreement with India on Saturday that will eliminate tariffs on 85 per cent of Australian goods entering India, helping farmers and miners diversify export markets, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

The Australia-India Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreement will be signed on Saturday in a virtual ceremony by the Minister of Trade and Tea and the Minister of Trade & Industry of India, Piyush Goyal, Australia said in a statement on Friday night.

Morrison and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will witness the signing of the interim agreement, and the two countries will continue to work towards a full free trade agreement.

Morrison is expected to hold national elections in a few days, and wants to secure a trade deal with India, a decade after negotiations between the two countries began, before the election campaign.

His government has been pushing to diversify export markets to reduce Australia’s dependence on its biggest trading partner China, after diplomatic disputes resulted in Beijing approving Australian products including wine, lobster and coal.

The agreement with India opens up a market of nearly 1.4 billion consumers and will strengthen the Australian economy, he said.

“This agreement opens huge doors into the world’s fastest -growing major economy for Australian farmers, manufacturers, producers and many more,” Morrison said in a statement.

Tariffs will be eliminated on more than 85 per cent of Australia’s exports of goods to India, valued at A $ 12.6 billion, rising to almost 91 per cent in 10 years.

Under the agreement, 96 per cent of imports of Indian goods will enter Australia tax -free.

Tariffs will be eliminated on fresh Australian rock lobster, mutton, wool, copper, coal, alumina, and certain critical minerals and certain non-ferrous metals to India.

In a stimulus for the Australian wine industry, tariffs will be reduced from 150 per cent to 50 per cent over 10 years for bottles worth over US $ 5, and reduced to 25 per cent over the same period for bottles worth over US $ 15.

A 30 per cent tariff on Australian agricultural produce including avocados, legumes, beans and berries will be abolished within seven years.

Trade Minister Dan Tehan said the agreement would boost critical mineral trade, professional services, education and tourism, and lay the foundation for a full free trade agreement.

Both countries will recognize their respective professional qualifications and licenses, and Australia will extend visas for STEM students from India who graduate in Australia with first-class honors.

In 2020, India will be Australia’s seventh largest trading partner, with bilateral trade worth A $ 24.3 billion.

“This agreement has been built on our strong security partnership and our joint efforts within Quad, which have created opportunities for our economic ties to advance to new heights,” Morrison said, referring to security groups of India, Australia, the United States and Japan.

Australia exports goods worth A $ 19.3 billion to India in 2021, representing 4.2 per cent of total Australian exports.

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