Tue, 29 Nov 2022

New Delhi [India], November 22 (ANI): As the Australian parliament passed the landmark Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement, many Indian industry leaders hailed the deal saying this new agreement will offer new opportunities and also give a boost to various sectors.

Talking about the new agreement, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Director General Arun Chawla said, "We are confident that this agreement shall open doors to opportunities across diverse areas like mining and minerals, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, education, clean energy, transportation, gems and jewellery, tourism, and textiles, generating about a million jobs in India. There are also excellent prospects for collaboration between India and Australia in some critical areas like space and defence, critical minerals and related technologies, water resources, training and education, circular economy, and cyber technologies".

This remark followed Australia PM Anthony Albanese's announcement that the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India had been cleared by the country's Parliament.

"BREAKING: Our Free Trade Agreement with India has passed through parliament," Albanese tweeted.

The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) was signed on April 2.

Also congratulating the leaders of both countries on the deal, industry chamber FICCI released a statement, saying, "Both the countries, while strengthening the QUAD and the Indo-Pacific realm, are now entering an exciting phase in their relationship that promises to be a win-win situation both bilaterally and multilaterally. It is now time to unleash the full potential of India-Australia trade and investment ties."FICCI said achieving USD 100 billion targets of bilateral trade and investment is within the reach and it is the responsibility of businesses from both sides to achieve it by 2030.

Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, another trade body, said the India-Australia FTA will offer big opportunities for exporters.

According to a statement released by ASSOCHAM, the ratification of the India-Australia Free Trade Agreement by the Australian Parliament is testimony to its growing importance as an economic partner.

"Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's government is aggressively following policies, including the economic cooperation and trade agreements, commonly known as FTAs for ensuring greater market access for Indian businesses. This is quite a courageous glide path because we are embarking on trade-opening policies at a time when there is a clamour in some parts of the world to look inward. It is a reflection of the inherent strength of the Indian economy. For us 'AtamNirbhar Bharat' is reaching out to the world,'' ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr Deepak Sood said.

He added that the free trade agreement would lead to enhanced trade and investment between the two major economies of the world, scaling opportunities for increased employment in several job-oriented sectors such as textiles, leather, gems and jewellery, sports goods and engineering.

The ASSOCHAM said the Indian industry and the government are working in great cooperation and detail for ensuring that ''we leverage such FTAs to increase our share in the world trade".

The Federation of Indian Export Organisations said that the ECTA will open various opportunities for exports of goods and services and competitiveness of manufacturing through duty-free imports of key inputs.

FIEO president A Sakthivel thanked Union Commerce and Industries Minister Piyush Goyal for cementing the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) in a record time, said a statement released by FIEO.

He added that this is a milestone in the India-Australia relationship, which is warm and vibrant backed by mutual cooperation, trust and common interest. The FIEO president said the ECTA will pave the way for a "Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, which will further expand the relationship covering new areas of partnership".

In the press release, FIEO said "it is remarkable that in a very short span of time India has carved out two important partnership agreements with UAE and Australia, which are complementary economies and our important export markets".

"India will be getting zero duty benefit on 98.3 per cent of the tariff lines from the day the agreement comes into force and on 100% of tariff lines within 5 years. The agreement will benefit all sectors of exports, particularly the labour intensive like appareltextiles, leather and footwear, gems and jewellery, furniture and export goods, machinery and electrical goods and specified pharma products," added the FIEO chief.

"The pharmaceutical sector will be getting expeditious approval as many of such drugs already have approval in the US, UK, EU, Canada and Japan, which will help increase our share in a market of over USD 13 billion. Moreover, duty-free imports of critical inputs like coal, copper, nickel, aluminium, manganese, wool, hides and skin will impart competitiveness to our manufacturing and exports. Australia will also be getting zero duty facility in respect of the 90 per cent value of their exports to India," he added.

The FIEO said India's goods exports to Australia will reach USD 15 billion by 2025 from US$ 6.9 billion in 2021, taking full advantage of ECTA, while services should move to USD 10 billion by 2025 from US$ 3.9 billion (provisional).

Sakthivel exuded confidence that the bilateral trade between the two countries will cross USD 50 billion mark much before the target set to achieve the same.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) also welcomed the ratification of India-Australia FTA.

The CII said it had provided inputs for the interim free trade deal, "India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement" (ECTA), signed earlier this year. (ANI)

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