Indian Economy News

India, Australia expected to complete talks for interim FTA soon

  • IBEF
  • December 31, 2021

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry said on Thursday that India and Australia are on track to finalise discussions for an interim free trade agreement (FTA) soon, with the goal of strengthening economic links between the two countries. The full agreement, technically known as the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2022, according to the report.

The agreement includes products, services, investment, origin rules, customs facilitation, as well as legal and institutional problems. A similar agreement with the UAE is expected to be signed in March 2022, according to the Ministry.

"Within five years of signing, this new strategic economic agreement is expected to expand bilateral trade in goods to USD 100 billion and bilateral trade in services to USD 15 billion," it added.

In terms of initiatives to increase exports, there are several activities underway.

An Export Monitoring Desk has been established within the Statistics Division of the DGFT for monthly monitoring of objective achievement. Further, in the 83 days since its debut, the India Pavilion at the Dubai Expo has drawn six lakh visitors.

Domestically, over 3.18 million vendors have been onboarded on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM). In keeping with the government's objective, GeM has built a Unified Procurement System for the country by combining the features of the Defence Public Procurement Portal, the Central Public Procurement Portal, and its sub-portals onto GeM to give a single user experience. The system will bring together the various vendor bases on publication portals onto GeM, allowing for economies of scale, better price discovery, and the transmission of procurement best practices.

A National Logistics Policy was prepared after extensive talks with all ministries. A 75-point National Logistics Reform Action Plan with precise actionable items on the policy has also been prepared. The revised policy is nearing final approval. It aims to cut logistics costs by around 5% over the next five years, placing it in the top 25 of major worldwide logistics-related performance indexes.

During 2021-22 till December 8, new projects with a total Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) fund of Rs 113 crore (US$ 15.2 million) have been approved by an empowered committee. The Rubber Board is conducting a nationwide census on rubber using a digitised mobile application called 'RUBAC,' developed in collaboration with Kerala's Digital University, to determine the area under rubber, new-planted area, re-planted area, the age profile of trees, discarded area over time, level of adoption of new clones, size of holdings, and details of tappers.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.

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