Seeking investments from Australia in the infrastructure sector, India today said that a free trade pact between the two countries would give a boost to the $13.79 billion bilateral commerce.
At a meeting with Australian Trade Minister Craig Emerson in Mumbai, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said, "There is a need for investments from Australia, especially in the infrastructure sector."
India has an ambitious plan to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure during the 12th plan period (2012-2017).
The ministers met on the sidelines of CII Partnership Summit in Mumbai, according to an official statement.
The two countries are expected to start negotiations soon on free trade agreement (FTA) to enhance bilateral commerce.
"An FTA with Australia has the potential to enhance trade in goods, services and Investment between the two countries," Sharma said, adding that he will take up the issue for discussions on his return from World Economic Forum, to be held this week in Davos.
Sharma and Emerson also discussed the progress on the stalled Doha talks, the statement said.
Besides, it said that during the meeting Emerson raised the issue of pending payments for Commonwealth Games (CWG) related services provided by some Australian firms.
As for the two way trade, India’s exports to Australia mainly include IT and IT enabled services and other business services, while imports largely consist of gold, coking coal, copper ores, petroleum and LNG and Wool.
Total foreign direct investment inflows received from Australia during April 2000 to November 2010 were only $0.43 billion.