Australia clears free trade agreement with India
Commerce minister Piyush Goyal said the free trade agreement (FTA) with India, which the Australian Parliament cleared on Tuesday, will provide duty-free access to the Australian market for over 6,000 broad sectors of India, including textiles, leather, furniture, jewellery and machinery.
“Visas for Indian chefs and yoga instructors, along with the assurance that every child that goes from India to Australia will be given an opportunity for employment there. STEM graduates and doctoral candidates will get four years of work visa in Australia. Postgraduates will get three years of work visa,” the minister told reporters here.
Under the pact, Australia is offering zero-duty access to India for about 96.4 per cent of exports (by value) from day one and on 100 per cent of tariff lines within five years. This covers many products that currently attract 4-5 per cent customs duty in Australia.
Labour-intensive sectors which would gain immensely include textiles and apparel, a few agricultural and fish products, leather, footwear, furniture, sports goods, jewellery, machinery, electrical goods and railway wagons.
The pharmaceutical sector will be getting expeditious approval on drugs that have been approved in the US, the UK, the EU, Canada and Japan, which will help to increase India’s share in a market of over$13 billion.
Moreover, duty-free imports of critical inputs such as coal, copper, nickel, aluminium, manganese, wool, hides and skin will impart competitiveness to India’s manufacturing and exports, Goyal said.
Australia will also be getting a zero-duty facility in respect of 90 per cent value of its exports to India.