1 million jobs over next 5 years expected to be created with India-Australia Trade Pact, says Piyush Goyal

NEW DELHI, Apr 2: Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal on Saturday said the newly signed trade pact with Australia is expected to take bilateral trade from the existing USD 27 billion to nearly USD 45-50 billion in the next five years and the government expects one million jobs to be created in India in the next four to five years.

The India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (IndAus ECTA) was signed by commerce minister Piyush Goyal and his counterpart Australian trade, tourism and investment minister Dan Tehan in a virtual ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison today. Noting that the IndAus ECTA truly symbolises the unity and the spirit of cooperation between the two countries, Union Minister Goyal while addressing a press conference after the deal was signed said, “It is a historic day for India, as it is the first agreement India has entered with a large, developed country in a decade.

“We expect one million job creation in India in the next four to five years. In-services also we have expanded the scope of bilateral relations. India has offered services and access to services in many sectors to Australia and likewise, reciprocated by Australia,” Goyal said.

“A number of new opportunities will open up for Indian chefs and yoga instructors in the years to come. Post-study work visas for our young boys and girls who are going to Australia are also part of this agreement,” he added.
Goyal pointed out that over one lakh Indian students live in Australia and also shared information regarding the promotion of tourism.

“There are over one lakh Indian students living and studying in Australia. We’re looking at a work and holiday visa arrangement for promoting tourism. A post-study work visa between two and four years will be available for Indian students, particularly for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) graduates,” he said.

Referring to the newly signed trade deal, Goyal said the Ind-Aus ECTA is expected to almost double bilateral trade to about USD 45 to USD 50 billion in the next five years.

Australia is offering zero duty access to India for about 96.4 per cent of exports (by value) from day one. This covers many products which currently attract 4-5 per cent customs duty in Australia.

He further said that removing trade barriers will have great potential for labour-oriented sectors, like textiles, pharmaceuticals, leather and will also have huge potential for engineering goods, automobile and many more.

In services, Australia has offered 135 sub-sectors to India, while India offered 103 sub-sectors to Australia. Key areas of India’s interest like education, IT, Business, professional services, health, audio-visual have been committed by Australia under ECTA.

Adequate safeguards have been provided in the agreement to prevent circumvention or diversion of goods from any non-party. There is also a provision for bilateral safeguard measures to protect against sudden surge in import of goods. For the first time, a clause has been introduced for a special review mechanism, which provides for compulsory review after 15 years in a time-bound manner.

During the press conference, Goyal gave information about his visit to Australia next week.

“I shall be visiting Australia next week and will meet Australian business leaders along with the large business delegation of India to build the bridges and the greater economic cooperation between business persons and our diaspora in Australia and India,” the minister said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement is a “watershed moment” for bilateral ties.
“Consensus on such an important agreement in such a short period of time shows the mutual trust between the two countries. This is truly a watershed moment for our bilateral relations,” PM Modi said at the virtual signing ceremony of the agreement.

PM Modi said the newly signed trade deal will contribute to the increasing supply chains resilience and stability of the Indo-Pacific region.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the signing of the Agreement further develops the promise of economic relations between the two countries.
The Australian government said that the deal will eliminate tariffs on more than 85 per cent of Australian goods exports to India, rising to almost 91 per cent over 10 years.

On the very first day of the implementation of the interim pact, over 6,000 tariff lines would be available for Indian exporters at zero duty.