In lieu of opening up India’s dairy and agriculture industries through low or zero tariffs, Australia has provided tariff concessions on 99 percent of its traded goods with India under the proposed bilateral free trade agreement. Dairy products, cereals, oilseeds, and processed foods are among the items that Canberra wants to export to India. By the end of this month, the two parties hope to have reached an interim agreement, dubbed “early harvest” in trade language.
“Australia has indicated that at the time of the agreement’s entry into force, they will have zero import taxes on 99 percent of commodities,” an official said.
India’s exports to Australia in FY21 totaled $4.04 billion, with imports totaling $8.24 billion, including refined petroleum, medicaments, railway cars including hovertrains, pearls and stones, jewellery, and made-up textile goods. Coal, copper ores and concentrates, gold, vegetables, wool, fruits and nuts, and lentils were among the items imported.
Chemicals, fabrics, clothes, footwear, and machine tools, among other items, may be eligible for zero-duty treatment. “Dairy and agriculture are contentious issues. An interim package might include things on which everyone agrees, while the problematic areas can be addressed later “According to the official,
The interim deal with Australia, according to Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, will cover “huge areas of interest, notably our labor-oriented sectors like textiles, pharma, footwear, leather products, and agricultural products.”
By the end of 2022, the two sides have committed to complete a long-awaited free trade pact known as a comprehensive economic cooperation accord.
Industry experts, on the other hand, warned against expanding sensitive areas like as dairy and agriculture, which employ a large number of people. “Once sensitive industries like dairy and agricultural are opened to Australia, others like the EU and the UK will want market access as well, making our products uncompetitive,” a representative for the industry warned.