The India-Australia comprehensive interim free trade agreement is well-timed for both partners and will ensure uninterrupted supply of key inputs to Indian industries,with Australian businesses gaining access to a more reliable alternative of China, which is resorting to sanctions against the Canberra, two people aware of the development said.
So far, China dominates key Australian markets such as pharmaceuticals, textiles, plastics, toys, footwear and leather goods. Now the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (IndAus ECTA), signed on April 2, could make India an alternative to China, the two added on condition of anonymity.
Friction between Canberra and Beijing has brought a series of official and unofficial Chinese trade sanctions on Australian exports including coal, beef, seafood, wine and barley.
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) president TV Narendran said that for Australia, India presents a good alternatives to China, and the ECTA agreement will certainly enhance bilateral trade engagements between India and Australia. “It has huge potential and the FTA will unlock it,” he said. Narendran, who is the CEO and managing director of Tata Steel, is heading a business delegation that is accompanying commerce minister Piyush Goyal to Australia. Tata Steel imports Australian coal worth about $2 billion annually.