The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) is working well for both countries with exports of Indian farm products and industrial goods — iron & steel products, apparels and jewellery — showing marked increase a year on, according to a source on the Australian side.

Indian exports of iron and steel products up 16 per cent at $322 million

Indian exports of iron and steel products up 16 per cent at $322 million

“Both sides are committed to engage quickly and extensively in the negotiations on a full-fledged Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) soon after the general election in India. The CECA will be a deeper and more comprehensive agreement than the ECTA,” the source said.

ECTA Achievements

“In the first year of the signing of Australia-India ECTA, Indian exports of iron and steel products were up 16 per cent at $322 million, apparel exports increased 6 per cent to $342 million and exports of jewellery increased 6 per cent to $169 million. Indian exports of agriculture to agriculture also increased 15 per cent,” the Australian source close to the development told businessline.

Indian Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal was in Australia this week for the first Joint Committee Meeting of the ECTA, which was implemented on December 29, 2022.

“This was an important demonstration of the commitment from both sides’ to the successful implementation of ECTA, for mutual benefit,” the source said. 

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While most goods traded between the two countries are covered under the ECTA, the proposed CECA will go deeper; it is expected to cover goods (some of the remaining ones), services, digital trade, government procurement and Rules of Origin (ROO)-Product Specific Rules Schedule.

‘$100 billion prospect ‘

Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal had earlier said that India-Australia bilateral trade, currently valued at about $30 billion per annum, has the potential of touching $100 billion over the next few years with the increased cooperation between the two sides.

Australia and India’s chief negotiators for the CECA also met in Canberra this week. “Both sides want to build on positive outcomes of the ECTA and recognise there is so much potential for growth in the bilateral economic partnership,” the source said.

“As India has ambitious plans to be at the centre of the supply chains of the future, a comprehensive partnership with Australia will assist, given the complementarity of our two economies,” he added.