India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement set to be signed soon
MVIRDC WTC Mumbai jointly organized an event to launch a case study titled “Advocating Business Success between Australia and India.” The case study compiled by Newland Global Group and supported by the Australian
Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Centre for Australia-India Relations, showcases the business journey of 26 companies from both countries, covering diverse sectors such as healthcare,
technology, renewables, education and mining, to name a few. The event was organized by the Indo Australian Chamber of Commerce (IACC), in collaboration with The Australian Consulate-General Mumbai, Newland Global
Group, World Trade Center Mumbai, and the All India Association of Industries.
Speaking at the event, Ms. Majell Hind, Consul General of Australia in Mumbai, said, “India-Australia bilateral trade (in goods and services) has crossed USD 48 billion and I expect it to double to nearly USD 100 billion in the next five years. The recently signed trade agreement is beneficial for India as its trade deficit with Australia has fallen by 15% since the implementation of this pact,”
Australia, with its large reserves of critical minerals such as Lithium, Cobalt and other rare minerals, can be India’s key strategic partner in attaining mineral security and in its quest for sustainable growth and carbon-neutrality, Ms. Hind added.
Ms. Hind further added, “India-Australia bilateral relations are at their historic peak. Bilateral trade has grown by 50% in the last two years, driven by the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA). The trade agreement has provided tangible benefits to Indian businesses by offering critical raw materials at a competitive price and providing Australian market access at a preferential rate.”
Commenting on the importance of the case studies in strengthening economic cooperation, she remarked, “The case studies highlight that India’s agriculture exports to Australia has grown 11%, while its apparel exports has increased 20% since the signing of the trade agreement. The ECTA also points out that Indian exports of industrial products have grown 50%, mostly in the areas of insecticides, forklifts trucks and transmission shafts.”
The case studies was launched by Ms. Majell Hind, Head of Post at the Australian Consulate-General in Mumbai, Dr. Vijay Kalantri, Chairman, MVIRDC WTC Mumbai, Capt. Somesh Batra, Vice Chairman, MVIRDC WTC Mumbai. Ms. Petula Thomas, CEO of the Indo-Australian Chambers of Commerce along with other dignitaries.
Speaking at the launch event, Dr. Vijay Kalantri, Chairman, MVIRDC WTC Mumbai, stressed the importance of capacity building for both countries to leverage the trade potential offered by the bilateral relationship. Commenting on the case studies, he added, "The case studies, illustrating the journey of other businesses, provide crucial insights into the business environment in both countries and can act as a gateway for furthering economic cooperation.
Dr Kalantri raised hope that in the next five years, bilateral trade will double because of the existing trade agreement and with the future implementation of a more comprehensive agreement.
He remarked, “Today, Australia is the 12th largest trade partner of India. In next 5 years, Australia can become top 5 trade partner and trade can double with the increasing interest shown by companies from both the sides.”
Dr Kalantri further added, “The long-standing India-Australia trade ties received a major boost after the signing of the India-Australia ECTA. India's trade deficit with Australia has significantly declined, indicating that Indian businesses have benefited from the preliminary trade agreement. However, we believe that the best is yet to come. With the ongoing negotiations for the India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), we strongly look forward to more economic opportunities for both countries.”
In her remarks, Dr Monika Kennedy, Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Austrade in Mumbai pointed out, “Last year, Australian Hon’ble Prime Minister Mr. Anthony Albanese led a trade delegation to India, which was the highest-ever delegation to leave Australian shores. There is lot of interest and curiosity from companies of both the countries to do business with each other. Lot of groundwork has been done by both the governments to promote two-way trade and investment. I expect remarkable surge in investment from Australia to India in the coming years as more Australian companies get to know the emerging business opportunities in India,”
Ms. Kennedy informed that the negotiation on the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) is progressing well and it can be concluded soon.
Addressing the event, Ms. Petula Thomas, CEO of the Indo-Australian Chambers of Commerce, said, “A compendium like this is very timely and also highlights the ever-growing trade and partnership between India and Australia. It is a practical tool that will guide businesses in leveraging trade agreements and partnerships. These case studies have provided companies that showcased the power of innovation, an opportunity to share their journey.
Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Dipen Rughani, Chief Executive Officer, Newland Global Group informed that India is emerging as a strategic economic partner of Australia under the current evolving geopolitical circumstances. Australia is keen to strengthen ties with India to diversify and make its supply chain resilient. India also offers a huge consumer market for Australian companies.
Following the launch of the case studies, experts engaged in a panel session to discuss their experiences, challenges, and prospects of business in the India-Australia economic framework. The discussion also emphasized the role of business literacy with regard to the Indian market in developing and strengthening the bilateral relationship. The panelists at the session were Indian representatives of successful Australian companies.
Ms Malini Dutt, Trade and Investment Commissioner, Investment NSWproposed vote of thanks for the event.