Australia and India sign trade deal on Saturday

© . FILE PHOTO: Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar speaks with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the Melbourne Commonwealth Parliament Office, in Melbourne, Australia, Feb 11, 2022. Darrian Traynor/Pool via REUTERS By Kirsty Needham SYDNEY () – Australia will host a sign trade deal With India on Saturday, tariffs on 85% of Australian goods entering India will be eliminated, allowing farmers and miners to diversify export markets, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. The Australia-India economic cooperation and trade agreement will be signed in a virtual ceremony on Saturday by Trade Minister Dan Tehan and India’s Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said in a statement Friday night. Morrison and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will witness the signing of the interim agreement, and both countries would continue to work towards a full free trade agreement. Morrison is expected to call national elections within days and wanted to secure the trade deal with India, a decade after negotiations between the two countries started, before the election campaign. His government has been pushing to diversify export markets to reduce Australia’s reliance on its largest trading partner China, after diplomatic disputes led to Beijing sanctioning Australian products, including wine, lobster and coal. The deal with India opens up a market of nearly 1.4 billion consumers and would strengthen Australia’s economy, he said. “This agreement opens a major door to the world’s fastest growing major economy for Australian farmers, manufacturers, producers and more,” Morrison said in a statement. Tariffs will be eliminated on more than 85% of Australian goods exports to India, worth A$12.6 billion, rising to nearly 91% over 10 years. Under the agreement, 96 percent of Indian goods imports will enter Australia duty-free. Tariffs are being phased out on fresh Australian rock lobster, mutton, wool, coal, alumina and certain essential minerals and certain non-ferrous metals to India. To boost the Australian wine industry, tariffs will be cut from 150% to 50% in 10 years for bottles valued over $5, and reduced to 25% over the same period for bottles valued over $ 15. Tariffs of 30% on Australian agricultural products, including avocados, beans, nuts and berries, will be abolished in seven years. Commerce Minister Dan Tehan said the agreement would boost trade in essential minerals, professional services, education and tourism and lay the groundwork for a full free trade agreement. The two countries will recognize each other’s professional qualifications and licenses, and Australia will extend visas for STEM students from India who graduate in Australia with first-class honors. In 2020, India was Australia’s seventh largest trading partner, with two-way trade worth A$24.3 billion. “This agreement is based on our strong security partnership and our joint efforts in the Quad, which has created the opportunity to take our economic relationship to a new level,” said Morrison, referring to the security group of India, Australia, United States and Japan. . Australia exported $19.3 billion worth of goods to India in 2021, representing 4.2% of Australia’s total exports.

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