With the signing of the landmark bilateral trade pact India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (IAECTA) between the two countries, Kerala’s food sector will open up more opportunities in Australia.

The Australian delegation assured to further cooperate with small and medium enterprises in the State. The agreement will be highly beneficial for the sectors such as gems and jewellery, textiles, leather, footwear, furniture, food, and agricultural products, engineering products, medical & pharmaceuticals and automobiles etc, said Sarah Kirlew, Australian Consul General. 

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On the other hand, India will be offering preferential access to Australia on over 70 per cent of its tariff lines, including lines of export interest to Australia, she said.

The Australian delegation led by Australian Consul General Sarah Kirlew, former Cabinet Minister and Australia India Business Council Head Jody Mackay and AIBC National Associate Chair Irfan Malik was in Kochi to discuss the possibilities of the IAECTA Agreement which came into effect on December 29 last. The Australian delegation also held discussions with commercial and industrial representatives.

The IAECTA is expected to increase trade between the two sides to $45-50 billion over five years, from the current estimate of $27 billion, and create over 10 lakh additional jobs. 

In the interactive session organised under the leadership of FICCI in collaboration with JDGFT Kochi, Australia India Business Council and Australian Consul General Office, Officer on Special Duty to Kerala Government Venu Rajamani, said the agreement is highly beneficial for students from Kerala. Indian graduates from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) will be granted extended post-study work visas from two to three years.

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Australia will also set up a programme to grant visas to young Indians looking to pursue working holidays in Australia, Jody Mackay said.