Australian business delegation visits India for better business ties

A delegation of 106 Australian companies will visit India this week. According to a report by mint.

Australian companies will also seek opportunities in critical minerals, digital health, infrastructure and agribusiness.

The delegation is visiting India as part of the Australia-India Business Exchange (AIBX) programme. The business delegation will be led by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade).

Earlier in April, an Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (ECTA) was signed between the two countries. A global agreement should be signed by the end of the year. However, the deal is unlikely to be implemented until it is ratified by the Australian Parliament in January, said Denise Eaton, Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Australia in an interview. Eaton attributed the delay to the elections and the formation of a new government in Australia.

Describing it as an “increased opportunity” for trade diversification for Australian exporters, Eaton said the ECTA, which will be signed in April, will help Australia gain access to the Indian market.

The delegation is due to visit Ola’s new battery innovation center in Bengaluru and its future factory in Tamil Nadu.

Australian companies will explore business and economic collaboration in critical minerals including lithium, graphite, cobalt, nickel and titanium, she said. Under ECTA, India has either eliminated or drastically reduced tariffs on minerals, creating opportunities for Australian and Indian companies.

This goes hand in hand with India’s goal of becoming a carbon neutral country by 2030.

Currently, India is Australia’s eighth largest trading partner, then in the energy and resources market, India is its fifth largest export market.

According to a report by Austrade titled “Unleashing the Potential of the Australia-India Critical Minerals Partnership”, minerals like lithium, graphite, cobalt, nickel, titanium and vanadium, in addition to light rare earths and heavy, are of crucial importance for both countries.

“They are in monitors, in our headphones, in electric vehicles and alloys that go into the defense equipment and aerospace sectors. They also go into solar panels and wind turbines,” Eaton said.

The bilateral free trade agreement signed on April 2 gave India duty-free access to 95% of the tariff lines it exports to Canberra, including textiles, leather, furniture, jewelry , machinery and certain medical devices.

India has also proposed an immediate elimination of tariffs on 40% of tariff lines, representing 85% of Australian exports by value, while a further 30.3% will benefit from reduced tariffs over a period of time.