The Hindu BusinessLine | 22 September 2022
India-Austalia FTA: Aussie companies scout for greater opportunities in India
by Amiti Sen
With the India-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) close to being implemented, a
100-member business delegation, led by the Australian Trade and Investment
Commission (Austrade), will visit India later this month to scout for fresh
opportunities across sectors such as agriculture, food and wine, critical minerals,
digital health and infrastructure.
“This year’s Australia-India Business Exchange (AIBX) has been framed keeping in
mind that we have got the Australia India Economic Cooperation and Trade
Agreement (AI-ECTA) almost in place. At Austrade, we want to source Australian
businesses that can complement Indian needs. Our focus is on top end of the market
for premium products. We are looking at complementarity of markets and not
competition,” said Catherine Gallagher, Senior Trade Commissioner, Austrade.
AIBX 2022, scheduled for September 25-30, will facilitate meetings between
Australian businesses and potential Indian partners and importers and organise site
visits while focussing on the needs of the Indian market. Top companies in sectors
such as wines, spirits, packaged food, health, infrastructure and education are part of
the delegation. The business delegates will visit five cities including Delhi, Mumbai,
Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai.
“The AI-ECTA deal signed in April gives Australian companies a head-start in Indian
markets. By reducing tariffs and barriers to trade, AI-ECTA will improve two-way
market access for Australian businesses. This comes as Indian markets become ever
more open to overseas products, brands and services,” according to a statement.
“We have technology embedded in all the five focus sectors — education, health,
infrastructure, agriculture and processed food and critical minerals,” Gallagher said.
The AI-ECTA, which will be implemented after the Australian Parliament approves
it, is expected to double bilateral trade from $27.5 billion to $45-50 billion in five
years and create 10 lakh jobs in the country.