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India, Australia eye mini trade deal by December

Piyush Goyal said that one early harvest with a large country like Australia from the developed world will help India to engage with others on similar lines including the UK.Premium
Piyush Goyal said that one early harvest with a large country like Australia from the developed world will help India to engage with others on similar lines including the UK.

  • After a virtual meet between India’s trade minister Piyush Goyal and his Australian counterpart Dan Tehan on Thursday, both sides directed officials to speed up negotiations and to meet as often as required

New Delhi: India and Australia are eyeing a mini trade deal in the form of an early harvest agreement by December this year in both goods and services, that would pave the way for a comprehensive trade deal at a later stage.

After a virtual meet between trade minister Piyush Goyal and his Australian counterpart Dan Tehan on Thursday, both sides directed officials to speed up negotiations and meet as often as required. “The ministers appreciated the progress made in three rounds of talks between the chief trade negotiators of both sides and discussed the way forward for an early conclusion of a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA)," a joint statement released on Friday said.

Both sides said they look forward to a balanced trade agreement that encourages expanded trade and investment flows to the benefit of both of the economies and peoples, and that reflects their shared commitment to the rules-based international trading system. “The ministers noted the importance that negotiations take into account the views of business, industry and other stakeholders, and decided to start consultations on the potential opportunities and impacts of an interim agreement as a pathway to a full CECA," the joint statement said.

Australia and India launched negotiations for a CECA in May 2011. However, negotiations stalled after the ninth round of talks in September 2015, because of India’s sensitivity with Australian demand for market access in agriculture and dairy products.

While addressing the export promotion councils in Mumbai last week, Goyal said one early harvest with a large country like Australia from the developed world, will help India to engage with others, on similar lines including the UK.

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