|Subject||Australia sees huge trade opportunities in India|
MUMBAI : Australia today said India provides huge trade opportunities and expects the bilateral trade to rise manifold in coming years as it pushed for early conclusion of an economic cooperation pact with New Delhi.
"We see significant scope to grow the investment relationship between India and Australia. India is Australia's 12th largest trading partner and their two-way trade volume stood at about 15 billion Australian dollar," Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said.
"We expect trade between the two countries to increase manifold in coming years," Robb said.
By comparison our two-way trade with China, our top trading partner, is worth around A$160 billion. Indian foreign investment into Australia is worth almost A$11 billion, while Australian investment in India is A$6.6 billion, the minister said.
He was speaking at an interaction session 'Australia and India: Building economic value through trade, services and investment liberalisation', organised by CII here.
"Services represent around 70 per cent of Australia's economy, but just 15 per cent of our exports. This is an export we are determined to grow and there are strong prospects with India across a wide range of services, given it is one of the world's most rapidly growing services markets on account of a rising middle class," he said.
Building momentum towards conclusion of an Australia- India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) is a key objective of both sides, the Minister said.
"I am determined to ensure that both services and investment are given real prominence in the CECA negotiations, along with improved levels of market access for goods trade."
During his visit to New Delhi on April 23, Robb will meet with Indian Ministers, senior business leaders, investors and policy experts.
"My aim is to keep building momentum (for CECA). There is enthusiasm on both sides to conclude a quality agreement this year. It won't be easy, but it certainly remains an achievable goal," Robb said.
His visit follows a formal round of CECA negotiations in Canberra last week and `Australia Business Week in India' (ABWI) in January. ABWI was the island country's largest-ever trade and investment promotion event in Indian sub-continent.
Source : economictimes.indiatimes.com
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