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‘Australian govt keen on pact with India’

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Patrick Suckling
Patrick Suckling

The new government in Australia is likely to be keen to conclude the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with India, Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Patrick Suckling, said here on Monday.

“We have had five rounds of negotiations (to conclude the CECA) and given what the new government is saying, it will want to see that work continues and is intensified,” he said in an informal chat with newspersons.

Earlier this month, a coalition led by Tony Abbott won the Australian elections, ending six-years of Labour rule. The new government will be sworn in on Tuesday.

Asked what the creation of a new Trade and Investment Ministry would mean for bolstering bilateral trade and investment, Suckling said the new government would look at taking advantage of Australian capabilities (in sectors) that India was interested in.

“If you look at minerals and resources, there are a lot of prospects, apart from in agri-business. There is also education, which is a huge area of potential not only in terms of Indian students going to Australia but also skills being provided to India, as it looks to get 500 million people in vocational training by 2022. Besides, information technology and bio-tech are other areas,” he said.

ashwini.phadnis@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 16, 2013)
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