Australian Consul-General for South India David Holly, addressing members of the Visakhapatam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), mooted CECA to boost bilateral trade ties

Australian Consul-General for South India David Holly on Monday said the signing of free trade agreement between India and Australia would give a fillip to bilateral engagement in various fields. Addressing members of The Visakhapatam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) at Dutt Island, he said the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) was aimed at broadening the base of merchandise trade by addressing tariff barriers and behind-the-border restrictions on trade in goods.

The fifth round of negotiations on CECA was held in Canberra last month. The discussions covered goods, services and investment.

Mr. Holly said there was significant potential to expand trade services between the two countries as CECA could facilitate growth in services trade by reducing barriers faced by service providers and by increasing regulatory transparency.

He said CECA could also facilitate and encourage investment by reducing barriers, increasing transparency and enhancing investment protections and sought suggestions from the members of VCCI on improving bilateral ties.

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