– Australia’s trade deal with India has come into effect, with the nation’s trade minister hailing it as a major boon for both nations’ economies.
The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) was officially implemented on Thursday, eliminating tariffs on 85 percent of Australian exports to the country of 1.4 billion people, rising to 90 percent within years.
High tariffs on products including Australian wine and almonds will also be reduced.
For premium wine, tariffs were cut from 150 percent to 75 percent on Thursday and will be cut again on Jan. 1 to 70 percent before phasing down to 25 percent within a decade.
The 30 percent tariffs on fresh Australian rock lobsters and lamb and mutton have also been eliminated in a major boost for farmers.
According to the federal government, the deal will save Australian exporters 2 billion Australian dollars (1.3 billion U.S. dollars) every year.
“India’s youthful population, diversified economy and growth trajectory present significant opportunities for Australian businesses, including in education, agriculture, energy…and sport,” Don Farrell, Australia’s trade minister, wrote in a column published by News Corp Australia on Thursday.
Farrell also on Thursday revealed he and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will likely travel to New Delhi in March for talks on a second-round trade deal that will focus on greater access to Australia’s employment market. ■