'Australia on track to finalise nuclear, trade deals with India by year-end’

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018

Trade Minister Andrew Robb says focus of CECA is on services

Australia is on track to finalise both the nuclear deal and free trade agreement (FTA) with India by the end of the year, Australian trade minister Andrew Robb has said.

“Both the agreements are important for the two countries. Our team is on track to finalise the deals by the year-end as targeted,” Robb said addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Robb said that the focus of the free trade negotiations, formally known as the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), at the moment was on services. “Our focus is principally on services. We already have a respectable goods package. We understand that any such agreement has to respect the fact that about 600 million people in India live on less than $2 a day,” the minister said.

The Australian trade minister also discussed the road-map for finalising the free trade pact with his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman. “My negotiating team has set a time-line for concluding various parts of the negotiations which I have discussed with my counterpart,” he said.

On the proposed nuclear deal with India, Robb said that the deal had received all required clearances in Australia, and there would be no delay on that front.

Published on October 27, 2015

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