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India is fastest-growing trade partner for Australia

India and Europe have emerged as important trade destinations for Australian exporters, a media report says.

business Updated: Jun 20, 2007 10:41 IST

India and Europe have emerged as important trade destinations for Australian exporters, with the former already becoming Australia's fastest-growing trade partner, a media report said on Wednesday.

India's consolidation and the re-emergence of Europe as a major trading partner are both featured in the latest DHL Export Barometer released on Tuesday, The Age newspaper said.

The barometer shows that 56 per cent exporters foresee an increase of orders next year from India, while 65 per cent of exporters predict an increase from Europe.

Austrade chief economist Tim Harcourt said Australia's exporters remained resilient despite the high value of the dollar and inflated fuel prices.

"This is partly due to the health of the global economy and a renewed focus on Europe as an export market," Harcourt said.

DHL's barometer, which is based on a sample survey of 364 exporting firms, ties in with Treasury findings in last month's budget that showed the heightened importance of India to the Australian economy.

From a low base five years ago, India is now Australia's fastest-growing trade partner, it said. Exports to India have grown at an annual rate of 27 per cent over the past five years.

DHL's strategic development group manager for Oceania, Paul Bellette said Australia's exports to India comprised different products from exports to China.

Exports to China are dominated by commodities, which become inputs in the production of manufactured goods within China.

Goods sold to India were more often used within India, either in infrastructure projects or enjoyed as consumption goods, Bellette said.

This is partly due to demographic factors, with a relatively young Indian middle class keen consumers of foreign goods and services, particularly education.