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BENGALURU: Investment NSW, Australia’s New South Wales government’s trade and investment attraction agency, has launched its office in Mumbai, which opened for business on Thursday. This comes four months after India and Australia signed an interim trade pact called economic cooperation and trade agreement (ECTA) in April. This is yet to be ratified by both the  sides.

The office is aimed to promote exports from New South Wales to India, boost investments and improve services trade by attracting Indian students and tourists to Australia.

India and Australia are looking to deepen bilateral trade and investment engagement as they begin negotiations for the full free trade agreement called comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA).

The office in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex will facilitate NSW businesses seeking trade and investment opportunities with India.

India and Australia had signed the interim free trade deal on 2 April, providing the former duty-free access on 95% tariff lines that it exports to Canberra, including textiles, leather, furniture, jewellery, machinery and select medical devices. India has offered immediate tariff elimination on 40% of its tariff lines comprising 85% of Australia’s exports in value terms to India and another 30.3% of its tariff lines will see elimination or reduction of tariffs over 3,5,7 and 10-year time period.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, who officially opened the new Mumbai office said, "Our strong relationship with India is underpinned by shared values and interests, and today marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter of trade and investment relations between India and NSW…India is a key Indo-Pacific partner to Australia and an economic juggernaut. NSW is proud to partner with India's government and business community to drive greater prosperity for the people of our two nations."

In 2020-21, India was NSW's third-largest source of international students, sixth largest source of tourists and 11th largest two-way trading partner, with two-way merchandise trade at $4.6 billion.

Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade Stuart Ayres said the office will work to deliver direct benefits for NSW by attracting Indian investments in NSW, helping boost business opportunities to benefit the local economy.

"India is NSW's most important business partner, with significant export opportunities across a range of sectors including food and beverage, education and edtech, health and medtech and technology, "Ayres said.

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