By SAT News Desk
NEW DELHI-MUMBAI, 25-26 February: India and Australia have decided to restart the stalled negotiations on the bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), which means a free trade agreement (FTA).
Under an FTA, two or more trading partners significantly cut or remove all customs duties on the main goods traded between them. Norma is liberalized to increase trade in services and boost investments.
The two countries agreed to take forward the issue of harmonizing standards and regulatory barriers for products of interest to both sides, in parallel.
It was also agreed to work on market access issues to increase trade, work on mutual recognition of educational qualifications of the two countries and encourage more direct flights between Australia and India, says an Indian government media release.
These decisions came during the 16th session of the Joint Ministerial Commission between the two countries held on 25th February here.
The Session was co-chaired by Mr. Piyush Goyal, India’s Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry and Hon. Senator Simon Birmingham, Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.
Both sides reflected on the important role the private sector plays in building the bilateral economic relationship. India welcomed the Australia-India Business Exchange program, including the delegation of over 100 Australian businesses accompanying Minister Birmingham. The business delegation explored opportunities in education, food and health and beauty, resources, and infrastructure.
India raised the issue of taxing of off-shore income of Indian firms through the use of India-Australia Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and sought early resolution of the issue. Both sides agreed to intensify discussions, says a PIB media release.
Aussie cuisine for India
The Australian Minister launched the Taste of Australia campaign which will run in one of India’s luxury supermarket chains, Foodhall, over the next two weeks.
“This campaign is about lifting the profile of Australian food products in India and highlighting their quality and safety to millions of Indian consumers,” Minister Birmingham said.
“There are enormous opportunities for Australian food and beverage brands to stand out from the crowd and that’s why campaigns like this one are so important in highlighting the quality, freshness and safety of Australian food products.
Over 20 Australian brands are on show and available for sale at Foodhall supermarkets across New Delhi and Mumbai in the coming weeks, as part of the Taste of Australia campaign.
The launch of the Taste of Australia campaign also coincides with the release of a new Austrade premium food and beverage guide to give Australian exporters further insights and advice on doing business in India.
Australian brands on Amazon India
An interesting segment of Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham’s India visit is that he launched the new online store in Mumbai, saying the Australian store on Amazon India would be a game-changer for Australian brands in India.
Launched the new online store in Mumbai, he said the Australian store on Amazon India would be a game-changer for Australian brands in India.
“Thousands of Australian food, health and lifestyle brands will now be available at the click of a button in the world’s fastest-growing consumer market, thanks to this partnership,” Minister Birmingham said.
(This report is based on media releases from the Indian and Australian governments)