Sat, 04 Feb 2023

New Delhi [India], November 30 (ANI): India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (Ind-Aus ECTA) will enter into force on December 29 paving the way for the elimination of duties on 100 per cent tariff lines and creating additional 10 lakh jobs in India.

Post signing of the Ind-Aus ECTA on 2 April 2022 and the completion of the ratification processes and the necessary domestic requirements, including internal legal procedures, India and Australia exchanged written notifications.

The Agreement will enter into force 30 days after this exchange of written notification between India and Australia in accordance with Article 14.7 of the Agreement.

"India and Australia exchange has written notifications; India-Australia ECTA to enter into force on 29 December. Duties on 100 per cent tariff lines to be eliminated by Australia under ECTA. Additional 10 lakh jobs to be created in India under ECTA," said the Ministry of CommerceIndustry in a statement.

The India-Australia ECTA and the provisions thereof which have been arrived at after extensive consultations with all relevant stakeholders will further cement the already deep, close and strategic relations between the two countries and will significantly enhance bilateral trade in goods and services, create new employment opportunities, raise living standards, and improve the general welfare of the peoples of the two countries.

"The date is set! The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement will enter into force on 29 December, delivering new market access opportunities for both countriessecuring the Australia-India friendship in the decades to come," tweeted Australia's High Commissioner to India, Barry O'Farrell.

This trade agreement will deliver new market access opportunities for Australian businesses and consumers from December 29, 2022.

Australia finalized its domestic requirements for the trade agreement last week with the unanimous passage the Government's Bills through Parliament. ECTA is a ground-breaking agreement that brings Australia and India's economies closer together, read Australia's Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell press release.

ECTA will save Australian exporters around USD 2 billion a year in tariffs, while consumers and businesses will save around USD 500 million in tariffs on imports of finished goods, and inputs to our manufacturing sector.

The tariff commitments provided by India in the agreement will open up access for Australia's exporters of products including critical minerals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, lentils, seafood, sheepmeat, horticulture and wine.

"The ECTA's two tariff cuts in quick succession intensify the up-front benefits of this agreement for our exporters. Businesses are encouraged to get on the front foot and prepare themselves now to take advantage of the substantial improvements in market access to India under the new agreement. Austrade can assist existing and potential exporters benefit from the lowering of trade barriers into the Indian market," said Farrell.

Australian service suppliers will benefit from full or partial access across more than 85 Indian services sectors and subsectors. Australian suppliers across 31 sectors and subsectors will be guaranteed the highest standard of treatment that India grants to any future free trade agreement partner, added the press release.

Australian services sectors to benefit include higher education and adult education, as well as business services such as tax, architecture and urban planning.

ECTA will support tourism and workforce needs in regional Australia by making 1000 Work and Holiday Program places available to young adventurous Indians. It maintains opportunities for Indian students graduating in Australia to undertake post-study work, with a bonus year of stay for high-performing STEM graduates, read the release.

"Australia and India are increasingly working together as strategic and economic partners. We elevated our relationship with India to a Strategic Partnership in 2009 and to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2020. The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement is the next step in elevating our relationship with India, the world's fastest-growing large economy," said Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese.

Industries, businesses, students, professionals etc. on both sides are eager to avail the opportunities arising through this agreement. It will also promote people-to-people contact between the two democracies.

Duties on 100 per cent tariff lines are to be eliminated by Australia under the agreement. It is expected that with this agreement, the total bilateral trade will cross USD 45-50 billion in 5 years from the existing USD 31 billion.

Both countries are complementary in their trade opportunities. Hence it will help in a resilient supply chain wherein cheaper raw materials and intermediate products from Australia will be made available to make our finished product competitive.

It is estimated that an additional 10 lakh jobs would be created in India under ECTA. Indian Yoga teachers and chefs are set to gain with the annual visa quota. Over 1 lakh Indian students would benefit from post-study work visas under the ECTA.

The agreement is also likely to increase investment opportunities, promote exports, create significant additional employment and facilitate strong bonding between the two countries.

Australia is an important strategic partner of India. They are also part of the four-nation QUAD, Trilateral Supply Chain Initiative and the Indo-Pacific Economic Forum (IPEF).

ECTA will open a new chapter on India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership between two vibrant economies with shared interest and trade complementarities.

The Agreement encompasses cooperation across the entire gamut of bilateral economic and commercial relations between the two friendly countries. (ANI)

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