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India-Australia Trade Pact expected to create 1 million jobs in next 5 years: Piyush Goyal

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New Delhi, Apr 2: Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Saturday said the bilateral trade between is expected to reach nearly USD 45-50 billion in the next five years from existing USD 27 billion and it is expected to create around one million jobs in the same period.

India-Australia Trade Pact

The India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (IndAus ECTA) was signed by commerce minister Piyush Goyal and his counterpart Australian trade, tourism and investment minister Dan Tehan in a virtual ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison today.

"It is a historic day for India, as it is the first agreement India has entered with a large developed country in a decade. We expect one million job creation in India in the next four to five years. In-services also we have expanded the scope of bilateral relations. India has offered services and access to services in many sectors to Australia and likewise, reciprocated by Australia," Goyal said.

"A number of new opportunities will open up for Indian chefs and yoga instructors in the years to come. Post-study work visas for our young boys and girls who are going to Australia are also part of this agreement," he added. Goyal highlighted that over one lakh Indian students live in Australia and also shared information regarding the promotion of tourism.

"There are over one lakh Indian students living and studying in Australia. We're looking at a work and holiday visa arrangement for promoting tourism. A post-study work visa between two and four years will be available for Indian students, particularly for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) graduates," he said.

Australia is offering zero duty access to India for about 96.4 per cent of exports (by value) from day one. This covers many products which currently attract 4-5 per cent customs duty in Australia. He further said that removing trade barriers will have great potential for labour-oriented sectors, like textiles, pharmaceuticals, leather and will also have huge potential for engineering goods, automobile and many more.

In services, Australia has offered 135 sub-sectors to India, while India offered 103 sub-sectors to Australia. Key areas of India's interest like education, IT, Business, professional services, health, audio-visual have been committed by Australia under ECTA. Adequate safeguards have been provided in the agreement to prevent circumvention or diversion of goods from any non-party. There is also a provision for bilateral safeguard measures to protect against sudden surge in import of goods. For the first time, a clause has been introduced for a special review mechanism, which provides for compulsory review after 15 years in a time-bound manner.

During the press conference, Goyal gave information about his visit to Australia next week. "I shall be visiting Australia next week and will meet Australian business leaders along with the large business delegation of India to build the bridges and the greater economic cooperation between business persons and our diaspora in Australia and India," the minister said.

Speaking at the virtual event, Narendra Modi said that this is his third interaction with his Australian counterpart in last one month. He conveyed his appreciation for the leadership of the Prime Minister Morrison and the efforts of his Trade Envoy and former Prime Minister of Australia Mr Tony Abbott. He also commended the Trade Ministers and their team for a successful and effective engagement.

Piyush Goyal
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Piyush Goyal

The Prime Minister said that signing of IndAus ECTA in such a short span of time reflects the depth of the mutual confidence between the two countries. Modi underlined the huge potential that exists in the two economies to fulfil the needs of each other and this agreement will enable the two countries to fully leverage these opportunities. "This is a watershed moment for our bilateral relations", he emphasized. The Prime Minister said "On the basis of this agreement, together, we will be able to increase the resilience of supply chains, and also contribute to the stability of the Indo-Pacific region."

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