Difficult to give timeline for conclusion of FTA talks with India: Australian High Commissioner

Australian High Commissioner to India Harinder Sidhu said on Wednesday that given the complex nature of the negotiations on the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India, it will be difficult to give any deadline for the conclusion of talks.

Speaking at a function organised by the think-tank ICRIER, Mr. Sidhu said, “I think, we would rather have a good outcome than an outcome that does not quite get up to the standards."

Though there was a deadline of December 31, 2015, it was missed due to differences on some issues. While India is seeking greater market access in services sector, auto parts, textiles, jewellery and fresh fruits including mangoes, Australia is demanding the same in dairy, fresh fruit, pharma, meats and wines.

India and Australia are also taking part in the ongoing negotiations for a mega regional FTA called Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). "These are complex negotiations with many parts and many interests to consider – which is why our ambitions on timelines for completion are not always met," the Australian High Commissioner said.

On India's possible entry into the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), she said "We would welcome India's participation in APEC."

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 3:23:10 PM |

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