INDIA-AUSTRALIA ETCA (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     21st November 2023        

Context: Recently, official data reveals that Indian exporters have utilized 77% of the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) during the first nine months following the implementation of the interim trade deal.

Economic Co-operation and Trade Agreement (ECTA)

  • About: It is the first Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that India has signed with a major developed country in over a decade.
  • Scope of the Agreement: The Agreement between India and Australia spans various aspects of bilateral economic and commercial relations, covering key areas such as:

oTrade in Goods and Rules of Origin, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, Dispute Settlement and Movement of Natural Persons, Telecom and Customs Procedures and pharmaceutical products.

oInstitutional Mechanism for Enhanced Trade: The Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) establishes an institutional mechanism aimed at encouraging and improving trade between the two nations.

  • Inclusive Tariff Coverage: The ECTA between India and Australia is extensive, covering almost all tariff lines dealt with by each country.
  • Preferential Market Access for India: India stands to benefit from Australia's provision of preferential market access on 100% of its tariff lines. 
  • Reciprocal Trade: This includes vital sectors such as Gems and Jewellery, Textiles, leather, footwear, furniture, and more.

oIn return, India commits to offering preferential access to Australia on over 70% of its tariff lines, encompassing raw materials and intermediaries like coal, mineral ores, and wines.

  • Opportunities for Indian Graduates: Under the agreement, Indian graduates in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) will be granted extended post-study work visas.
  • Professional Visas: Australia will establish a program facilitating visas for young Indians seeking working holidays, and an annual visa quota of 1800 will be instituted for India's Yoga teachers and Chefs.
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