“Time for celebration”
AIBC welcomes historic Australia-India Economic and Trade Agreement (AI ECTA)

The AI ECTA was signed today in a virtual ceremony by Australia’s Trade Minister Dan Tehan and India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessed the virtual ceremony.

The deal with India removes tariffs on more than 85 per cent of Australian goods exports to India, worth A$12.6 billion (US$9.4 billion), rising to almost 91 per cent over 10 years.

Tariffs will be scrapped on sheep meat, wool, copper, coal, alumina, fresh Australian rock lobster, and some critical minerals and non-ferrous metals to India. It will see 96 per cent of Indian goods imports enter Australia duty-free.

Welcoming the above signing of the AI ECTA Agreement, the National Chair of Australia India Business Council Limited (AIBC) Mr Jim Varghese AM said “Today is an historic day for the future of the trade and investment relationship between Australia and India. Congratulations to the Prime Minister and DFAT for the persistence and determination in helping execute the signing of the Australia India AI ECTA agreement.

The AIBC is very encouraged by this important development which we have been passionately driving and supporting for a decade. The initiative by the Prime Ministers of India and Australia to establish the AIBC over 35 years ago to assist in making these milestones happen is now vindicated.

In this context, the AIBC (as a nodal business association over the years ) is very comfortable offering our services to the governments of India and Australia to host or co-host any event for the visiting Ministerial Delegation and the Honourable Minister Piyush Goyal.

The AIBC has optimised several opportunities to host him in the past and we are happy to do so again to celebrate this important milestone.”

India is the right partner for Australia and Australian businesses must look to India as a market to supply than a market for consumption. The AI ECTA partnership between Australia and India will generate trade in many sectors. To facilitate and promote such bilateral engagements, AIBC has established 17 Industry chapters including the Agribusiness Chapter, ICT and Digital Chapter, Education and Skills Development Chapter, Sports Chapter, Healthcare Chapter, Make in India Chapter, Infrastructure Chapter, Energy Chapter and more. With the major changes in the Indian Defence procurement process and to facilitate Australian businesses to collaborate, AIBC has recently established a Defence and Security Industry Chapter.

To particularly focus on commercial outcomes arising out of such business interactions, AIBC has established a commercial arm “Australia India Business Enterprise “(AIBE). Significant commercial opportunities have been identified by AIBE and a few projects have commenced successfully.

Mr Jim Varghese AM stated, “As we are coming out of the Covid 19 scenario and seeing the dramatic economic growth in the bilateral trade with AI ECTA, AIBC is fully geared up to engage with both Australian and Indian businesses and stakeholders to continue to promote in a big way and facilitate business to business engagements in a significant manner in coming months of 2022 and beyond ”.

Media Release dated: 2 April 2022

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