India, Australia move towards comprehensive trade, economic partnership

October 23, 2021

NEW DELHI -- Following an interim agreement which will be signed prior to Christmas 2021, India and Australia will sign a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) by the end of 2022. Covering trade in goods and services, the comprehensive agreement will also include a pact on investments.

Addressing media with India's Minister of Commerce and Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal, visiting Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Dan Tehan, said both countries would exchange offers on the proposed deal by the end of October.

He said the interim agreement would be in line with World Trade Organisation guidelines, and that steps would be taken to ensure that the Free Trade Agreement was implemented by the end of 2022.

Discussions on Government procurement, energy and resources, logistics and transport, standards and rules of origin will begin shortly.

The two Ministers discussed a number of issues during a Joint Ministerial Commission meeting, including the resolution of tax-related issues faced by Indian software firms in Australia.

Shri Goyal spoke of the roadmap which had been laid out by Prime Ministers of both countries to upgrade the India-Australian trade and economic affairs partnership to a comprehensive trade partnership.

In 2020, dominated by coal and international education, Australia's seventh-largest trading partner and the sixth-largest export destination was India.

In FY21, India's exports to Australia stood at US$4.04 billion, while imports amounted to US$8.24 billion. Petroleum products, medicines, polished diamonds, gold jewellery, apparel etc. are the major products India exports to Australia, while Australia's exports to India include coal, LNG, aluminium and non-monetary gold.