ECTA will Unlock Trade and Investment Opportunities between India and Australia

The India-Australia CEO Forum was attended by CEOs from both countries.

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The Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), which was signed between Australia and India, will open up new opportunities for trade and investment, according to the honourable Australian Prime Minister, Mr. Anthony Albanese. He was speaking at today’s India-Australia CEO forum in Mumbai.

The Honourable Prime Minister expressed his sincere gratitude for the Indian business houses that attended and the significant number of Australian investors who travelled to India. He said this is one of Australia’s most important and well-known delegations to travel to India. He expressed great optimism about the similarities and differences between the two countries. He noted that this point marks a turning point in the relationship between Australia and India that will accelerate economic cooperation and mutual benefits.

Together with Senator the Hon. Don Farrell, the Hon’ble Minister for Trade and Tourism, Government of Australia, Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, attended the CEO Forum. While there was huge potential to multiply trade between the two countries, Shri Goyal remarked that the current aim of doubling the bilateral trade must be reset by the industries and CEOs present. He reaffirmed the current potential for growth in trade and investment relations between Australia and India.

The Minister recalled an instance of his conversation with the CEO of Cochlear from his prior trip to Australia in April 2022. (Australian hearing implant manufacturers). After the conversation, he reassured them that, given India’s population, rapid middle-class expansion, and the expanding desires of the general economy for a better lifestyle, their existing market share in India represented a tiny fraction of the company’s potential.

To take advantage of the expanding trade and investment between the two nations, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) hosted the forum. Dr. Anish Shah, MD & CEO of Mahindra Group, and Ms. Shemara Wikramnayake, MD & CEO of Macquarie Group, served as the forum’s co-chairs.

Assuring that this growth will continue to increase, Senator the Hon. Don Farrell, Minister of Trade and Tourism, noted that trade worth USD 2.5 Billion benefited from decreased tariffs resulting from the ECTA agreement in January 2023 alone. To meet the expectations of the expanding connection, he challenged the sector to think far bigger.

The meeting of the India-Australia CEO Forum was warmly greeted by both ministers, who also urged companies on both sides to look into new business and investment prospects.

The success of the two Ministers’ bilateral interactions was noted with satisfaction. They reaffirmed their commitment to further developing and fortifying the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in the interests of both parties.

In the presence of the Honorable Anthony Albanese MP, a four-year extension Agreement was also signed between the Business Council of Australia and the Confederation of Indian Industry. This alliance will greatly strengthen the business ties between the two nations.

CEOs of top firms in industries like metals and mining, telecom, food processing, education, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, medical devices, banking, aviation, education, IT, auto, and institutional investors attended the event. How to improve economic, trade, and investment connections between India and Australia across sectors was the topic of discussion at the event.

Shared ideals of democracy, multiculturalism, economic opportunity, and, most crucially, a dynamic diaspora with solid people-to-people contacts describe India and Australia’s long-standing relationship. Both nations emphasise the rule of law, free and open societies, and respect for human rights.

India is Australia’s ninth-largest trading partner for the fiscal year (2022). Petroleum products, textiles and garments, engineering items, leather, pearls, mechanical appliances, iron and steel, gems and jewellery, and leather are among the top exports to Australia. Edibles, dyeing agents, chemicals, wool, minerals, and precious stones are among the top imports.