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India-Australia trade pact comes into force

New Delhi, Dec 29 (IANS) The India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) has into force from Thursday.

Under it, Indian goods on all tariff lines will get access to Australian market with zero customs duty.

Also additional 10 lakh jobs would be created in India under the ECTA, said Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, while addressing a press conference in Mumbai.

Indian yoga teachers and chefs would benefit from annual visa quota, he added.

Over 1 lakh Indian students would also benefit from post-study work visa.

India has achieved the unique distinction of operationalising two Trade Agreements this year. After the entry into force of India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement on May 1, the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement has come into effect from December 29.

The ECTA was signed on April 2 and ratified on November 21. Written notifications were exchanged on November 29 and after 30 days, the agreement has come into force.

“There is a lot of potential for exporting finished goods to Australia, since they hardly manufacture anything, they are largely a raw material and intermediate producing country, we will get cheaper raw materials which will not only make us more competitive globally but also enable us to serve Indian consumers better; enabling us to provide more quality goods at more affordable prices,” Goyal told reporters.

“Australia, which is largely dependent on imports, will benefit hugely, they will soon start seeing a lot more finished goods coming in from India, providing huge amount of work and job opportunities in both goods and services, provided by Indian talent,” the minister added.

“The Agreement will also eliminate double taxation on IT services which were making us less competitive and making us less profitable in IT sector, the double taxation has now been removed by amending the law, from April 1, 2023, double taxation for IT sector will be over, we will save millions and millions of dollars right now, and over a billion dollars going forward, maybe 5-7 years going forward, giving us competitive edge and also creating a lot many jobs,” Goyal elaborated.

The Ind-Australia ECTA provides an institutional mechanism to encourage and improve trade between the two countries. It covers almost all the tariff lines dealt by both the nations.

India will benefit from preferential market access provided by Australia on 100 per cent of its tariff lines, including all the labour-intensive sectors of export interest to India, such as gems and jewellery, textiles, leather, footwear, furniture, food and agricultural products, engineering products, medical devices and automobiles.

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