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Australian companies delegation visiting India for better trade tie-ups

The delegation is visiting India as a part of Australia India Business Exchange (AIBX) programme. The delegation of companies will be led by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade).

India | Australia | trade policy

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

A 106-strong delegation of companies from will visit this week. The companies are visiting to explore opportunities for supply partnerships with companies like Ola Electricity Mobility, Tata chemicals, and Aditya Birla Group, according to a report by Mint.

The Australian companies will also seek opportunities in critical minerals, digital health, infrastructure and agri-food sectors.

The delegation is visiting as a part of the Australia- Business Exchange (AIBX) programme. The delegation of companies will be led by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade).

Earlier in April, an Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (ECTA) was signed between the two countries. A comprehensive deal is expected to be signed by end of this year. However, the agreement is likely to be implemented only after the Australian Parliament ratifies it in January, said Denise Eaton, trade and investment commissioner, in an interview. Eaton attributed this delay to elections and forming of a new government in .

Describing it as an "enhanced opportunity" for trade diversification for Australian exporters, Eaton said that the ECTA, to be signed in April will help Australia to access the Indian market.

The delegation is scheduled to visit Ola’s new battery Innovation Centre in Bengaluru and its future factory in Tamil Nadu.

Australian companies will explore commercial and economic collaboration in the critical minerals sector, including lithium, graphite, cobalt, nickel, and titanium, she said. Under ECTA, India has either eliminated or greatly reduced tariffs on minerals, creating opportunities for both Australian and Indian companies.

This is in tandem with India’s objective of becoming a carbon-neutral county by 2030.

Currently, India is Australia’s Eighth largest trading partner, and then in the energy and resources market, India is its fifth largest exporting market.

According to an Austrade report titled “Unlocking Australia-India critical minerals partnership potential", minerals like lithium, graphite, cobalt, nickel, titanium, and vanadium, besides light and heavy rare earth are of critical importance to both countries.

“They are in monitors, in our headphones, in electric vehicles and alloys that go in defence equipment and aerospace sectors. They also go in solar panels and wind turbines," said Eaton.

The bilateral free-trade agreement signed on April 2, provided India duty-free access on 95 per cent tariff lines that it exports to Canberra, including textiles, leather, furniture, jewellery, machinery and select medical devices.

India too has offered immediate tariff elimination on 40 per cent of tariff lines, comprising 85 per cent of Australia’s export in value terms, while another 30.3 per cent will see a reduction in tariffs over a given period of time.

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First Published: Mon, September 26 2022. 10:46 IST