Sydney: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said India and Australia are working on a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), and exuded confidence that the bilateral trade will more than double in five years.
The two countries have already signed India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), he said expressing hope the pact will help in doubling the two-way commerce in the next five years.
Addressing a community event at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena, the Prime Minister said the two countries are now working on CECA.
“We are building a resilient and reliable supply chain. This will strengthen the business of both countries,” he said.
Modi, who is visiting Australia as a guest of the Australian government, said the air connectivity between India and Australia has increased and the number of flights would go up further in the coming days.
Australia was the 13th largest trading partner of India in 2022-23. While exports stood at USD 6.95 billion, imports from that country in the last fiscal aggregated at USD 19 billion.
India is Australia’s largest export market for gold and chickpeas, the second-largest market for coal and copper ores and the third-largest market for lead and wool.
The India-Australia ECTA is the first trade agreement of India with a developed country after more than a decade. ECTA provides for an institutional mechanism to encourage and improve trade between the two countries.
During April 2000 and December 2022, India received USD 1.07 billion in investments from Australia, according to government data.
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Earlier in the day, Modi met business leaders of top Australian companies here and called for enhancing cooperation with the Indian industry in areas such as technology, skilling, and clean energy.
He held bilateral meetings with Hancock Prospecting Executive Chairman Gina Rinehart, Fortescue Future Industry Executive Chairman Andrew Forrest, and Australia Super CEO Paul Schroder.
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