Western Australia trade body sees 2023 as the ‘sweet spot’ year in bilateral business relations

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Western Australia celebrated the historic Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement coming into force today. It represents a huge opportunity for 2023 to be a ‘sweet spot’ year for diversifying our trade and investment relationships. Businesses across WA wanting to export their goods and services will now have enhanced access to an extraordinary, dynamic market at lower costs. It also means more competitive prices for WA consumers.

Jodi McKay, National Chair of the Australia India Business Council, said WA’s recent trade missions “blew most other states out of the water … sending a strong signal that WA is leading”. “Australia gets one go at this,” she said. “[India] should be on the boardroom table of every ASX listed company. I hope the free trade agreement is an instigator for India being part of those discussions and future plans.” Ms McKay said the relationship between Australian and India has been “supercharged,” and “will be taken to a whole new level” by the trade agreement. 

From the beginning of 2023, tariffs on key Western Australian exports into India will come down by 90%, including on energy and metals, critical minerals, wool, grains, rock lobster and lamb. In coming years, tariff barriers will also come down on WA wine, fruits and vegetables, seafood, and timber. 

Australia is the first nation to achieve a trade agreement of this sort with India, providing our businesses with a ‘first-mover’ advantage to establish and develop trade with one of the most important markets of the future.  

This is like shifting from a plastic backyard cricket bat to grade-A willow overnight.

India is the fastest-growing major economy in the world and set to overtake the UK as the 5th-largest economy. This relationship holds enormous potential for Australia, further elevated by ‘the Quad’, and by recent missions to India by the WA Premier and Deputy Premier, with strong support and participation by CCIWA.

CCIWA is already fielding more inquiries from India, seeking investment opportunities in WA across critical minerals, mining equipment, advanced manufacturing and throughout the global supply chain. 

CCIWA’s message to WA businesses is there has never been a more opportune time to establish and grow trade links with India.

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