India, Australia likely to start trade pact talks next yr

India and Australia are expected to start negotiations early next year for a market-opening trade pact to enhance their USD 20 billion bilateral commerce.

Last Updated: Sep 28, 2010, 18:51 PM IST

New Delhi: India and Australia are expected
to start negotiations early next year for a market-opening
trade pact to enhance their USD 20 billion bilateral commerce.

"The feasibility study was completed; now each of our
governments will have to consider that report. I hope that by
end of this year or early next year, we might be in a position
to commence the negotiations," Australian High Commissioner to
India Peter Varghese told reporters here.

As per the feasibility study, Australia stands to gain
more from the proposed market-opening trade pact with India,
as Canberra is more dependent on New Delhi for its exports.

India is destination for 5.3 per cent of Australia`s
exports, while the former ships only 0.5 per cent of its total
exports to the latter.

"In 2009, the two-way trade was worth over USD 20
billion, more than double of what was in 2005 (USD 9.8 USD)
and this relationship is certainly set to grow," Varghese
added.

The report, prepared by a study group comprising of
officials from the two countries, has been endorsed by the
trade ministries of India and Australia.

The proposed pact, besides liberalising the trade and
investment regime, would also see 70 per cent of Australian
sectors and 68 per cent of Indian segments experiencing
increase in output as and when the FTA is implemented, the
report said.

India is also likely to start negotiations for a trade
pact with Canada.

PTI