India and Australia signed an interim trade deal on Saturday, which Union Minister Piyush Goyal said would boost bilateral trade between the two nations to nearly $50 billion over the next five years.
“The India-Australia trade pact is expected to boost bilateral trade from the existing $27 billion to nearly $45-50 billion over the next 5 years. There is huge potential in areas such as textiles, pharmaceuticals, hospitality, G&J, IT and startups, among others, creating huge jobs in both countries,” he said during of the signing ceremony of the economic and commercial cooperation agreement between India and Australia.
Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and his Australian counterpart Dan Tehan signed the agreement in a virtual ceremony, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Goyal said he was confident that the multi-faceted and forward-looking trade pact will take the ties between the two nations to greater heights.
“The India-Australia partnership has gone from strength to strength. Our exports to Australia have seen the strongest growth in the past 12 months. We look forward to accelerating the pace of negotiations,” the minister said, adding that the trade agreement will herald a new era of trade and commercial relations.
Prime Minister Modi said the trade pact was truly a watershed moment for India-Australia relations and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison said the deal will further deepen the close ties between the nations.
The agreement “encompassing trade in goods and services, is a balanced and fair pact” and it will further cement the already close and strategic relationship between the countries, the Commerce Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
It will greatly enhance two-way trade in goods and services, create new job opportunities, raise living standards and improve the general well-being of the people of the two countries, he added.
As a result of the deal, Indian exporters in over 6,000 major sectors, including textiles, leather, furniture, jewelery and machinery, will enjoy duty-free access to the Australian market, according to reports. government sources quoted by the PTI news agency.