Australia is committed to concluding an “interim” Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India , Canberra’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan said on February 9.
Mr. Tehan will arrive in India on a special visit later in the day as negotiations between the two sides reach a crucial phase amid possibilities of further enhancement of post- COVID-19 opportunities for travel and tourism. “Mr. Goyal [Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal] and I have been in regular contact over the Christmas/New Year period because we are both committed to concluding an interim free trade agreement. Nothing can replace face-to-face meetings to help speed up the process in the interest of both countries,” said Mr. Tehan in a statement ahead of his arrival here. Mr. Tehan said the FTA (Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement) would be a blessing for Australian business, farmers and workers, and would create job opportunities for Australians.
An interim trade agreement is likely to be focused on goods and items from agriculture, dairy, leather industry and other such sectors.
Mr. Goyal had earlier said that both countries were close to finalisation of the first such trade agreement. “CECA is a potential game-changer in opening opportunities for both Australia and India. It is also an important piece of our post- COVID-19 economic recovery,” said Mr. Tehan, who referred to India as one of the world’s “largest and fastest developing economies.” Mr. Tehan will also sign an MoU with the Indian government to enhance travel and tourism between the two countries.