India and Australia on Saturday signed the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (IndAus ECTA) to boost trade in goods and services.
The agreement was signed by Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Dan Tehan, Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment in a virtual ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.
Speaking after the signing, Prime Minister Modi conveyed his appreciation for the leadership of Prime Minister Morrison and the efforts of his Trade Envoy and former Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott. He also commended the Trade Ministers and their teams for a successful and effective engagement.
Modi said that the signing of the IndAus ECTA in such a short span of time reflects the depth of the mutual confidence between the two countries. He also underlined the huge potential that exists in the two economies to fulfil the needs of each other and this agreement will enable the two countries to fully leverage these opportunities.
“This is a watershed moment for our bilateral relations. On the basis of this agreement, together, we will be able to increase the resilience of supply chains, and also contribute to the stability of the Indo-Pacific region,”he said.
Terming ‘people to people’ relations as the key pillar of the relationship between India and Australia, Modi said “This agreement will facilitate the exchange of students, professionals, and tourists between us, which will further strengthen these relations.”
"IndAus ECTA would remove barriers to trade and will open up plethora of opportunities in both goods and services for both nations," said Goyal after the signing of the agreement.
"It is expected that the bilateral trade would grow from the existing $27 billion to nearly $45-50 billion over the next five years. There is huge potential in areas like textiles, pharmaceuticals, hospitality, gem and jewellery, and IT amongst others, creating huge employment in both countries," he said.