Australia has offered to offer tariff concessions to 99% of its traded items with India beneath the proposed bilateral unfastened trade agreement in lieu of starting India’s dairy and agriculture sectors via low or zero price lists. Canberra is eager to export dairy products, grains, oilseeds, and processed meals to India. the two aspects intend to complete the talks for a meantime deal, referred to as early harvest in exchange parlance, by the end of the month.
“Australia has indicated to make their import duties zero on 99% goods at the time of entry into force of the agreement,” stated an official.
In FY21, India’s exports to Australia which comprise of refined petroleum, medicaments, railway motors which include hovertrains, pearls and gemstones, jewelry, and made-up fabric articles- had been $4.04 billion, even as imports had been $8.24 billion. Imports include coal, copper ores and concentrate, gold, greens, wool, fruits and nuts, and lentils.
India’s exports of chemicals, fabrics, apparel, footwear, and machine tools, among several others, might get zero-duty benefits. “Dairy and agriculture are sticking points. An interim package can include products where there is mutual consensus while the contentious issues can be taken up later,” the official stated.
Piyush Goyal who is the Commerce and industry minister on Monday stated that the interim agreement with Australia will cover “large areas of interest particularly our labor-oriented sectors like textiles, pharma, footwear, leather products, and agricultural products”.
The two nations have accepted to conclude a long-pending FTA known as a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement by the end of 2022.
Moreover, industry experts warned about opening sensitive sectors like dairy and agriculture as they are big employers. “Once sensitive sectors like dairy and agriculture are opened for Australia, others like the EU and the UK too will seek market access and make our products uncompetitive,” stated an industry representative.