India and Australia to sign a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) by the end of 2022

The announcement of the CECA was made by Australian trade and tourism minister Dan Tehan along with Commerce and Industry minister Shri Piyush Goyal.

October 1, 2021

The announcement was made after the 17th meeting of the India-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission.

By the end of October 2021, both countries will exchange offers on the proposed deal.

The comprehensive agreement will cover trade in goods and services, and a pact on investments as well.

The resumption of the negotiations on the India-Australia CECA has also been formally launched by both the ministers.

Following an interim agreement which will be signed prior to Christmas 2021, India and Australia will be signing a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) by the end of 2022. Covering trade in goods and services, the comprehensive agreement will also include a pact on investments.. Addressing the media along with the Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Piyush Goyal, the visiting Australian minister for trade, tourism and investment Dan Tehan, after the 17th meeting of India-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission on , announced that by the end of October 2021, both the countries will exchange offers on the proposed deal. He added that the interim agreement would be in line with article 14 of the World Trade Organisation and that steps would be taken to ensure that the Free Trade Agreement is conducted by the end of 2022.

The discussions on govt procurement, energy and resources, logistics and transport, standards and rules of origin will begin shortly, while both the countries have agreed to exchange offers by the end of October. According to a joint statement by both the ministers, they have formally resumed the negotiations on the India-Australia CECA. They discussed a number of issues during the Joint Ministerial Commission meeting including the resolution of tax-related issues faced by Indian software firms in Australia. They have also agreed to work in close coordination towards achieving a positive outcome at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Geneva, Switzerland at the end of 2021. Shri Goyal spoke about the roadmap which had been laid out by Prime Ministers of both countries for upgrading the India-Australian trade and economic affairs partnership to a comprehensive trade partnership for which they have set out ambitious timelines and targets to be achieved .

In 2020, dominated by coal and international education, Australia’s seventh-largest trading partner and the sixth largest export destination was India. In FY21, India’s exports to Australia stood at US$ 4.04 billion, while the imports amounted to US$ 8.24 billion. Petroleum products, medicines, polished diamonds, gold jewellery, apparel etc. are the major products the country exports to Australia, while Australia’s exports to India are coal, LNG, aluminium and non-monetary gold, among other things. Travel, telecom and computer, government and financial services include India’s service exports to Australia, while the latter’s service exports are primarily education and personal travel.