Australian minister to visit India next week for further talks on Free Trade Agreement
- The Free Trade Agreement was also the main point of discussion during the recent 2+2 dialogue between Union commerce and industries minister Piyush Goyal and his Australian counterpart
Australia's minister for trade and investment Dan Tehan said he will be visiting India next week to intensify discussions for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA)."While in India, I will seek to further advance our recent progress towards a free trade agreement, or what is called the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, CECA," Tehan told news agency ANI.
The FTA, part of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), was also the main point of discussion during the recent 2+2 dialogue between Union commerce and industries minister Piyush Goyal and his Australian counterpart Tehan on August 27. The two leaders met virtually to discuss “the way forward for an early conclusion of a bilateral (CECA)”.
Tehan and Goyal asked officials to speed up negotiations and to meet as often as required to “achieve an early harvest announcement by December 2021 on an interim agreement to liberalise and deepen bilateral trade in goods and services, and pave the way for a comprehensive agreement.”
Tehan reiterated the principles adopted by both countries during the last session, stating that “Australia and India are committed to achieving an early harvest announcement on an interim agreement”. The interim agreement is expected to pave the way for a full agreement.
CECA has been largely touted by experts as an attempt by Australia to diversify its global trade interest away from China. It is a part of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, and the trade agreement has been under discussion since 2011.
Elsewhere in Washington Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending the first in-person summit of the Quad hosted by the US President on September 23, which will be attended by his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga of Japan and Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.