Australian parliament ratifies India trade deal

Wednesday 30th November 2022 05:55 EST

Canberra: The trade agreement between Australia and India was approved by the Australian Parliament, paving the way for the first phase of the treaty's implementation. Under this phase, Canberra will eliminate all import taxes and offer a more lenient visa policy in exchange for India lowering its tariffs on a number of goods.

The India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (IndAus ECTA), which was signed in April, needed to be cleared by the Australian Parliament, and is expected to be operationalised over the next couple of months after the procedural formalities are completed. Separately, negotiations for a comprehensive treaty are expected to commence in January, the commerce department said in a presentation.

“The entry into force of IndAus ECTA will be greatly welcomed by our business communities, and will further strengthen the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” PM Narendra Modi tweeted, hours after his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese announced the green light from Parliament. The Australian Parliament also cleared the trade deal with the UK.

Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal told media that “It reflects the confidence and trust between two countries… It is a big recognition of India’s growing stature and the capability that our businesses provide to the world, both in goods and services.”

According to industry group Nasscom's estimation, the double taxation avoidance agreement, which was also finalised, will save Indian IT companies about $200 million, the minister added. He said the agreement is likely to push the bilateral trade to $45-50 billion in the next five-six years from the current level of around $31 billion.

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