India expects report on FTA with Australia by year-end

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New Delhi, Jul 14 (UNI) A joint study group examining feasibility of a free trade agreement between India and Australia is expected to submit its report by the year-end.

Stating this during interaction with Western Australia, Deputy Premier Eric Ripper here today, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said India will also consider establishing its presence in Perth to harness trade and business potential.

China, Japan, United States and Malaysia have Consulates in Perth.

Australia has investment and trade offices in Mumbai and Chennai.

The two countries agreed to boost their economic engagement to mutual benefit.

Australia is India's 10th largest trading partner and 9th largest import market with Western Australia accounting for nearly half of the bilateral trade.

Australia Foreign Minister Stephens Smith hails from Western Australia and Ripper's visit is continuation of several initiatives Smith had launched a year ago to further trade and business relations with India.

UNI SAA MP NS1922

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