Australia clears the Free Trade Agreement with India
Australia clears the Free Trade Agreement with India

NEW DELHI:  The free trade agreement (FTA) between Australia and India was approved by Australia's parliament on Tuesday.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced on Twitter that the Free Trade Agreement with India had been approved by Parliament. The agreement will likely go into effect at a mutually convenient time.

Australia's parliament must ratify the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA) before it may go into effect, per Australian law. 

Due to the agreement, Australian items in industries including textiles, jewellery, and leather goods will be permitted to enter India duty-free.

Piyush Goyal, the minister of union commerce and textiles, tweeted in response to the development: "I am happy that the Australian Parliament has approved the India-Australia Economic Cooperation & Trade Agreement.

 It is a product of our strong relationship and creates the conditions for us to fully utilise our commercial relations and promote rapid economic growth." For its part, Australia would grant zero-tax access to goods made in India, which are currently subject to a 4–5% customs duty there.

The agreement covers cooperation in areas such as trade in goods, rules of origin, trade in services, technical barriers to trade (TBT), sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, dispute settlement, movement of natural persons, telecom, customs procedures, pharmaceutical products, and cooperation in other areas. It also addresses the full range of bilateral economic and commercial relations between the two friendly nations.

India will benefit from Australia's 100% tariff-line-specific preferential market access. All of the labor-intensive export industries that India is interested in include those of gems and jewellery, textiles, leather, footwear, furniture, food and agricultural products, engineering products, medical devices, and automobiles.

On the other side, India will grant Australia preferential access to more than 70% of its tariff lines, including those that are relevant to Australia's export interests and are principally for raw commodities and intermediaries like coal, mineral ores, wine etc.

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