There remain trade barriers in place

Despite bushfires that have ravaged a part of the Australian countryside, the country very much remained “open for business”, said visiting Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham. He added that Canberra had announced an additional A$1 million this week to keep selling packages around the T20 World Cup events.

Australia to hold wide-ranging enquiry into disastrous bushfires

Reports in some sections of the media, particularly in the U.S., had led to misinformation about the extent of the impact of the bushfires, the Minister said, including some maps that showed almost all of Australia in flames.

Not only tourism, but bilateral trade and investment across resource, agribusiness and produce, and higher education services sectors are expected to get a boost, Mr. Birmingham said to The Hindu, as Australia pushes forward with implementing its ‘India Economic Strategy’ (IES). To that end, he said, the recent India-Australia Business Exchange, a 120-strong business delegation visiting India this week, would help spread awareness about investment opportunities and the business landscape in this country.

Trade partnership

While India was Australia's eighth-largest trading partner and fifth-largest export market in 2018-19, driven by coal and higher education, and two-way goods and services trade with India was $30.3 billion, the ambition behind the IES is to expand Australian exports to India from $14.9 billion in 2017 to around $45 billion, and outward Australian investment to India from $10.3 billion to over $100 billion. “We trust that we continue to be a trusted, valued supplier of resources and energy to meet the growing needs of Indian industry and manufacturing,” Mr. Birmingham said, in this context.

To achieve such goals, however, it would require progress on the trade barriers that exist, the Minister noted. “Australia has had great success in achieving more liberal trade arrangements, with a number of other bigger trading partners over recent years. We think that achieving greater trade access for each of us with one another is a further way to grow the flow of trade and investment.”

Reflecting on the impact of the Coronavirus crisis on China’s trading partners, he noted, “I would expect, particularly following the events of Coronavirus and its impact especially on trade and travel sectors, that businesses will re-evaluate those risks. In some cases that may present opportunities for economies like India.”

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 10:56:59 AM |

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