14 March, 2023 |


IND & AUS Eye USD 100-Billion Trade: Talks to Expand Trade Pact

In this blog, let's explore the key highlights of the recent discussions between the Ministers of India & Australia and what it could mean for their respective economies. So, without any further ado, let's get started with the blog :)

**Introduction: **

India and Australia are pushing towards expanding their free trade agreement to further increase Bilateral trade (Trade between two countries) to USD 100 billion. The announcement came during the meeting of the joint ministerial commission between the Commerce & Industry Minister of India, Mr Piyush Goyal, and his Australian counterpart, Mr Don Farrell. The two countries recently implemented an economic cooperation and trade agreement (ECTA) in December 2022 and are now looking to expand its scope for a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

Expanding Free Trade Agreement: The Next Phase

The officials from both countries acknowledged that the ECTA was only the first stage of their economic engagement. They are now moving towards the next phase of their discussions where they will be looking at a wider ambit of subjects and taking this into a CECA. Minister Goyal said that they are committed to expediting the negotiations, despite the dangers of working with a deadline. The prime ministers of both countries have tasked the officials to expedite the conclusion of a Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement (MMPA) within the next three months.

Bilateral Trade: Targeting USD 100 Billion

The trade ministers of both countries have expressed dissatisfaction with the current USD 30-billion bilateral trade and have set a target of USD 45-50 billion in the next five years. They have higher goals, aiming for USD 100 billion in trade between the two economies. India and Australia are looking to increase cooperation in several areas like education, technology, audio-video services, and sports. While Australia has some fine technologies, the best education institutes, and sports, India can offer in terms of its talent pool, manufacturing base, and startup ecosystem.

Agriculture Trade: Mutual Interests

Both countries have identified several areas of mutual interest that are under consideration by their agriculture ministries. This includes resolving sanitary and phytosanitary issues related to plants and animals. Indian pomegranate arils issue has been resolved, and pet food certification issues are getting resolved on the Australian side. Moreover, the two countries have different products where market access is being encouraged. For example, Australian avocados and Indian okra, where both sides have different products, are under consideration. Australia is home to all the essential minerals needed to produce electric vehicle batteries. The Australian wine industry is welcome to visit India and support the local wine industry by exchanging knowledge and high-quality products.


India and Australia are committed to concluding negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) by the end of this year with the aim of pushing bilateral trade to USD 100 billion. The two countries are dissatisfied with the current bilateral trade of USD 30 billion and have set a target of USD 45-50 billion in the next five years. There are huge opportunities to increase cooperation in areas like education, technology, audio-video services, and sports. By 2023, both parties hope to solidify the ambitious CECA.


A significant development is the two nations' resolve to broaden their free trade agreement and push for USD 100 billion in bilateral trade. During the talks between the trade ministers of the two countries, the potential for greater cooperation in a number of areas—including sports, technology, audio-video services, and education—was highlighted. The mutual interests of both countries in the agriculture sector are also being addressed. If successful, the expanded free trade agreement would provide a boost to both the Indian and Australian economies. With both countries committed to expediting negotiations and exploring mutual interests, there is a strong chance that the talks will conclude by the end of this year, ushering in a new phase of economic engagement between the two countries.

We hope that the negotiations conclude successfully and lead to a stronger economic relationship between India and Australia. As always, we encourage our readers to share this knowledge with their friends and family to spread awareness and promote informed discussions. Article by Salim Shaikh & Image Source: orfonline.org

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