IBEF: February 13, 2020
According to Ambassador Anil Wadhwa, a former senior Indian Foreign Service (IFS) official, India has the potential to increase its goods and services exports to Australia to US$ 15 billion by 2025 and US$ 35 billion by 2035. Ambassador Wadhwa was speaking about the bilateral trade opportunities at a round-table discussion organised by the Indo-Australian Chamber of Commerce.
In 2018, the bilateral trade in goods and services between Australia and India stood at US$ 23.3 billion, out of which goods accounted for US$ 17.8 billion and services contributed about US$ 5.5 billion.
In a presentation titled, 'Economic and Trade potential between India and Australia', Ambassador Wadhwa emphasized that in 2018, India accounted for only two per cent of Australia's total merchandise imports and 2.7 per cent of services imports.
Ambassador Wadhwa is a distinguished fellow at Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) and was a former secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs and Ambassador of India to Italy, Thailand, Oman, Poland, Lithuania and San Marino. He was assigned the task of authoring "Australia Economic Strategy" (AES), a reciprocal report from the Indian side to "India Economic Strategy 2035" (IES), which is a report released by the Australian government in 2018 with an aim of making India one of Australia's top three export markets and the third-largest destination in Asia for Australian outward investment.
Prime Minister of Australia, Mr Scott Morrison was expected to release the report during his proposed visit to India in January 2020. Though, due to the bushfire in Australia, the PM had to cancel his first official visit.
Only the key opportunities were presented in Ambassador Wadhwa's presentation which is based on the 300-page report.
"We looked at the existing sectors on what more could be done and also futuristic sectors, which is something not happening now but where the future lies," said Ambassador Wadhwa, adding that technology, services and innovation will be the future of this relationship given the nature of this economy at the moment and what is happening in India itself.
Ambassador Wadhwa added that the major products from India in which the country can increase its share of exports to Australia includes petroleum products, rail equipment, pharmaceutical products and automobiles.
The presentation also added that "India contributes seven per cent of Australia's imports of petroleum and mineral oils. India is a major exporter of refined oil and other products like high-speed diesel, aviation turbine fuel, light diesel oil, etc. It can leverage its strengths in this sector to increase its share in Australia's imports".
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.