India inching closer to free trade deal with Australia

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-04-05 11:00:00 – New Delhi

India inching closer to a free trade agreement with Australia. India has made their offers, but renewed and refined or enhanced offers are awaited. The services sector is likely to get a greater access in Australia however India are negotiating for a better offer from Australia having given their own wish list.

Commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that it is at a very critical stage.They are closed to probably getting nearer an agreement.

The services sector is of utmost importance to India as it wants to gain a wider access for its professionals in Australia as part of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) being negotiated.

The average duties on goods are already low in Australia. Although there are certain sectors such as textiles and automobile parts where they would gain with a duty cut, the gains would be much higher in services where India also has a competitive edge, a senior commerce ministry official said.

The proposed CECA is expected to result in lower import duties on industrial and farm goods, greater access to the services market and easier investment norms in both countries.

Australia is pushing for a tariff reduction in dairy, fresh fruit, pharma, meat and wines. On the other hand, India wants zero duty on textiles, auto parts and fresh fruits, including mangoes and greater access in the services sector.

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