Australia’s Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell is confident that a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) will be in place by the third quarter this year.
“We have been asking that we finalise that by the third quarter... I am confident with the timeline; I believe there is will on both sides,” Mr. Farrell said in an exclusive interview.
While the two nations have already signed an Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement, the CECA will take the trade relationship to the next level. “Already we are seeing the first evidence of the free trade agreement... with the two consecutive reductions in tariffs. In January, $2.5 billion in trade from Australia came into India under lower tariffs. Now, I think certainly from our point of view, this gives us great opportunities to expand our relationship.”
Asked about India’s concerns over the free import of Australian dairy products, he said, “Each side has red lines that make it difficult to reach an agreement... With a bit of respect on both sides and a bit of understanding, we can get there and work through those problems”.
( The writers are with The Hindu businessline )