New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) India and Australia on Sunday acknowledged the significance of their trading relations, as bilateral trade exceeded $31 billion during the last financial year.
Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Australia’s trade minister Don Farrell met to discuss next steps for further enhancing the bilateral economic relationship.
They discussed implementation of the economic cooperation and trade agreement (ECTA), negotiations for the India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) and further developing two-way investment.
Both the ministers agreed that given the trade complementarities between the two countries, there is considerable potential for significantly enhancing bilateral trade within the next five years.
The ministers also discussed engagement in the G20, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
They agreed that Australia and India share high ambition for the IPEF, as evidenced at the special round of IPEF negotiations in New Delhi, and would continue to work together though IPEF on areas of mutual interest, including the clean economy and resilient supply chains.
Both Goyal and Farrell noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese look forward to swift progress in negotiations and for an early conclusion of an ambitious Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), which will build on the foundation laid by the ECTA, including new areas of trade, investment and cooperation.
CECA will create new employment opportunities, raise living standards and improve the general welfare in both countries.
The ministers look forward to concluding CECA as soon as possible, are pleased with the progress resolving various bilateral technical market access issues and look forward to continuing engagement.
They highlighted the importance of a smooth and timely clean energy transition as both countries work towards achieving their respective net zero goals.
The ministers noted the complementary nature of Australia and India’s economies and committed to further enhancing economic, technology, and trade and investment cooperation to get to net zero emissions.
Goyal and Farrell reaffirmed the importance of the multilateral trading system, with the WTO at its core.
They agreed to build on the success of the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva and reaffirmed their commitment towards improving WTO functions and having a fully functioning dispute settlement system by 2024.
They also agreed to work towards a productive engagement in the run-up to the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Abu Dhabi in 2024.