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India-Australia Partnership: Strengthening Ties and Trade Relations

India and Australia are significant trading partners in the Oceania region, with merchandise trade between the two countries reaching around 24 billion USD in 2023-24. The Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) serves as a platform for both nations to strengthen trade ties and explore new opportunities for bilateral economic cooperation in areas such as trade facilitation, investment promotion, and support for technology.

In the first Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) under the India-Australia Economic Co-operation and Trade Agreement (Ind-Aus ECTA), both sides acknowledged the smooth implementation of the ECTA and discussed various trade and investment-related issues. The JCM adopted the Rules of Procedure for the Joint Committee and established an institutional mechanism for regular exchange of preferential import data on a monthly basis. It also deliberated on an integrated approach for the forthcoming CEO forum event for promoting investments, particularly on start-ups.

The JCM also addressed critical services issues, including India’s request for facilitation of cross-border e-payments and mutual recognition agreements in professions like nursing and dentistry. The commitment to remove the ENT/LMT requirement in line with the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement was reiterated, along with discussions focusing on facilitating the mobility of healthcare workers between the two nations and promoting tele-medicines.

The JCM reaffirmed the commitment of both India and Australia to foster a robust and mutually beneficial economic relationship, paving the way for enhanced cooperation and prosperity for both nations. Discussions were held at the chief negotiators level between Additional Secretary Shri Rajesh Aggarwal from DoC and Assistant Secretary Shri Ravi Kewalram from DFAT under India-Australia CECA negotiations to review progress made after nine rounds and the way forward for its completion.

Meetings with businesses and business associations, including Australia India Business Council and Chambers of Commerce in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as CII, revealed the extreme eagerness of the businesses and governments of both sides to work hard and bring new synergy to take the strategic partnership to a new level, bringing significant benefits to businesses and citizens.

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Source: PIB

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