India and Australia plan to collaborate closely on joint projects

Australia and India have a robust trading relationship, with merchandise trade reaching approximately 24 billion USD in 2023-24, indicating significant potential for further growth. The Joint Committee Meeting between the two nations serves as a crucial platform to strengthen trade ties and explore new opportunities for economic cooperation, particularly in trade facilitation, investment promotion, and technology support.

Led by Commerce Secretary Shri Sunil Barthwal, an Indian delegation engaged in constructive discussions with the Australian delegation led by Deputy Secretary Shri George Mina from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Canberra. They also met with businesses in Sydney and Melbourne to deepen economic relations, leveraging trade complementarities and unexplored potential.

In the first Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) under the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (Ind-Aus ECTA), both sides discussed implementation issues such as mutual recognition agreements, market access for various products, and pharmaceutical pricing control. They also addressed areas of mutual interest like coastal tourism.

The JCM adopted Rules of Procedure for the Joint Committee and established an institutional mechanism for the regular exchange of preferential import data, a first for FTAs. Discussions also touched upon facilitating cross-border e-payments, mutual recognition agreements in professions like nursing and dentistry, and mobility of healthcare workers.

The meeting reaffirmed the commitment of both countries to enhance economic cooperation and prosperity. Chief negotiators also reviewed the progress of India-Australia CECA negotiations, aiming for a balanced outcome that builds on the achievements of the Ind-Aus ECTA.

Meetings with businesses and business associations highlighted mutual interest in areas, such as capacity building, vocational training, healthcare, digital connectivity, finance, education, agriculture, dairy, food processing, transport, and more.

Overall, these discussions underscored the eagerness of both governments and businesses to elevate the strategic partnership to new heights, bringing significant benefits to businesses and citizens of both countries.