Webinar on ‘Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement’
Trade Promotion Council of India organised a webinar ‘Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (AI-CECA)’ on 28th September 2021. The webinar discussed in depth the implications of trade agreement on trade and economic growth of both countries.
The esteemed panelists opined that the Australia-India deal will be a win win for both the countries. They endorsed that since both countries have substantial share of SME and MSME players, the deal will provide a boost to this sector on both sides. Furthermore, panelists also advocated strong synergy in the services sector, emphasizing that sectors such as energy, mining, education, agriculture and ITES services will gain out of this agreement. They further stated that India’s initiative such as AtmaNirbhar Bharat and Production Linked Incentive Scheme are well aligned Australia’s strengths.
India’s total trade with Australia stood at US$ 10.7 billion in 2020. In 2020, India’s import from Australia dropped to US$ 7.3 billion from 10.6 billion in 2019. India’s exports to Australia increased to US$ 3.5 billion in 2020 from US$ 3 billion in 2019. The slump in Australia’s exports to India in 2020 are attributed to the demand and supply hit due to the pandemic, while India’s Atma Nirbhar initiative also contributed to the decline. India accounts for 2.9% of Australia’s total merchandise exports. Furthermore, India’s share in total imports of Australia is 1.7%.
According to ‘Australia Economic Strategy’ report, some products in which India can leverage its strengths under the Australia-India CECA are refined petroleum products, pharmaceuticals and bio-similars, passenger/ commercial vehicles, agricultural commodities such as rice and fruit, renewable energy, railway equipment, gems and jewelry, textiles, etc. in order to target higher market access in Australian market.
Furthermore, there is also significant room for growth in India’s exports of services to Australia. The exports of services are expected to reach US$ 5 billion in 2025 and US$ 15 billion in 2035. India currently accounts for only 2.7% of Australia’s total services imports. Some sectors such as business services and travel services, are strengths of India and are well aligned with import needs of Australia.
In terms of investment, India have adopted fundamental reforms that have opened up its sectors to new investments. Reforms in the agriculture sector of India have created opportunities for Australian businesses including investment opportunities in supply chain infrastructure infrastructure such as food processing, logistics and bulk storage solutions. Similarly, India’s program of divestment presents opportunities such as through India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). In Australia, investment opportunities across various sectors such as mining, renewable energy, agri-business and technology are available which can be explored by India.
List of esteemed panelists during the webinar is given below:
- Amb Anil Wadhwa, Ex Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, IFS
- Manoj Pant, Vice Chancellor, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT)
- Dr. Pralok Gupta, Policy Leader Fellow of the School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute, Florence and Associate Professor, Centre for WTO Studies, IIFT, New Delhi
- Surojit Gupta, Associate Editor, Times of India
- Anand Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General (Horticulture Science), Indian Council of Agricultural Research
- Ravneet Pawha, Deputy Vice President (Global) & CEO (South Asia), Deakin University
- Ravi Mirchandani, Chairperson Indo-Australian Chamber of Commerce (IACC) Western India Chapter
The webinar was moderated by Sameer Pushp, Director- Media and Corporate Communication, Trade Promotion Council of India.