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Goyal, Australian Minister to expedite CECA

Goyal, Australian Minister to expedite CECA

New Delhi, Dec 23 (UNI) Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and his Australian counterpart Dan Tehan have discussed the way forward for an early conclusion of an interim agreement on a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

The two Ministers directed officials to speed up the negotiations for a comprehensive agreement. India-Australia trade exceeded $ 24 billion last year and the proposed trade deal would cover trade in goods, services and investment among others.

Speaking through a video conference on December 21, the Ministers appreciated the progress made in various rounds of talks between the chief negotiators of both sides.

They agreed to expedite negotiations for a bilateral CECA. The Ministers noted that bilateral trade talks have been very progressive and decided to deepen the engagement to reach a balanced trade agreement that benefits both economies.

Such an accord should also reflect a shared commitment to a rules-based international trading system.

Goyal and Australia's Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Tehan officially launched in September 2021 negotiations aimed at concluding an early harvest agreement by the end of 2021 and a CECA by 2022.

“The agreement will be consistent with Article 24 of WTO and the two countries will begin discussing government procurement energy and resources, logistics and transport, standards, rules of origin,” Tehan said at a press conference held jointly with Goyal.

The Indian Minister said the two countries will move with “aggressive timelines for concluding the trade pact".

An early harvest agreement is aimed at liberalising tariffs on certain goods between the two countries or trading blocs before a comprehensive agreement.

In the case of India and Australia, an early harvest is likely to deal with granting increased market access to Australian wines as well as help enhance mobility between them.

One of India’s key demands has been easing of travel for Indian professionals. The Australian Prime Minister's Special Trade Envoy Tony Abbott this month expressed Canberra’s confidence over reaching an early harvest trade agreement between India and Australia.


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