Australia Remain Little India’s Total Exports To Australia Remain Little Changed After Trade Pact: Govt. Data.

 

Syllabus: GS-II

Subject: International Relations

Topic: Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Context: India’s exports to Australia slightly dropped year-on-year from January to November post the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) in December 2022.

Synopsis:

  • India’s exports to Australia slightly dipped due to reduced petroleum exports. However, certain sectors, including engineering, electronics, apparel, and pharmaceuticals, saw growth.
  • Government officials praised ECTA for increased exports in key areas like engineering and pharmaceuticals. Australia’s FDI in India rose significantly from $30-40 million to $300 million.
  • Ongoing negotiations aim to expand the trade deal, with discussions on rules of origin next month. Agricultural exports from Australia to India, including sheep meat and seafood, surged by 50%.
  • ECTA brought duty reductions, with zero import duty on 51% of Australia’s tariff lines and 3,185 tariff lines from December 2022. India offers preferential access to Australia on over 70% of its tariff lines.

Background:

  • India-Australia ECTA Overview:
    • ECTA provides preferential market access for India on 100% of its tariff lines, while Australia benefits on over 70% of its tariff lines.
    • The agreement includes extended post-study work visas for Indian STEM graduates.
    • Facilitating trade, it grants zero-duty access to 96% of India’s exports to Australia and 85% of Australia’s exports to India.
    • By providing zero-duty access to 85% of Australian products, ECTA enables cost-effective raw materials for Indian industries, enhancing competitiveness.

    The agreement helps dispel perceptions of India as ‘protectionist,’ fostering openness to global business.

Conclusion: Australia reported gains, with industrial exports to India increasing by around 30%, including pharmaceuticals and wood. The Australian Minister for Trade and Tourism emphasized the need to invest in and strengthen the trade relationship.

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