Business Standard - 27 August 2021
India, Australia aim to announce early harvest trade deal by December
By Shreya Nandi
An early harvest agreement will be the way forward for an early conclusion of a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between both countries
India and Australia are looking at announcing an early harvest trade deal by December, according to a joint statement released by the nations on Friday.
An early harvest agreement will be the way forward for an early conclusion of a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between both countries.
The statement comes a day after commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal and his Australian trade minister Dan Tehan MP had trade-related discussions over a video call on Thursday.
Till now, there have been three rounds of talks between the chief trade negotiators of both nations. "In this regard, the ministers directed officials to speed up the negotiations and to meet as often as required to achieve an early harvest announcement by December 2021 on an interim agreement to liberalise and deepen bilateral trade in goods and services, and pave the way for a comprehensive agreement," an official statement said.
The negotiations will take place after taking into account the views of business, industry and other stakeholders, along with consultations on the potential opportunities. The impact of an early harvest deal or an interim agreement before finalizing CECA will also be taken into account.
"The ministers look forward to a balanced trade agreement that encourages expanded trade and investment flows to the benefit of both of our economies and peoples, and that reflects their shared commitment to the rules-based international trading system," an official statement said.
Last week, Goyal had said that India is revamping its free trade strategy (FTA) with its top trading partners, and gearing up towards an ‘early harvest’ deal with countries such as Australia, United Kingdom.
In the past, a trade deal with Australia was put on hold as both countries were not able to reach a conclusion due to lack of consensus among various issues.