India will be a ‘big win’ for Australian trade, says Farrell

(Bloomberg) — Australian exports to India, ranging from avocados and salmon to electric motors and pharmaceutical goods, have risen steadily, trade minister Don Farrell said, describing his country’s ties with the South Asian nation as a “great victory.”

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Canberra plans to spend US$14 million ($9.4 million) to further expand ties with New Delhi, including sending corporate missions to India for sectors such as agri-food, education, technology and energy and resources such as critical minerals , Farrell said in a speech Monday in Sydney.

Farrell and Foreign Minister Penny Wong attended the launch of the Parramatta headquarters of the Center for Australia-India Relations. Australia has sought to strengthen its diplomatic and economic ties with India as the country seeks to diversify trade away from heavy dependence on China.

“In the 14 months since the Albanian government implemented our trade deal with India, Australian businesses have seen a huge boost in exports,” Farrell said. “Our trade agreement has strengthened our economic relationship with India across a wide range of sectors.”

Canberra is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with India, but the deal has problems regarding agricultural products. The talks have been put on hold until the Indian elections are over. Farrell said the centre-left Labor government will continue to negotiate and push for the “best possible deal” for Australia.

In July, the Australian Trade and Investment Commission will lead its first business mission to New Delhi and Mumbai, focusing on renewable energy and hydrogen storage, Farrell said. The Albanian government will also begin consultations on a “future roadmap” for Australia’s economic engagement with India to forge new areas of cooperation.

–With help from Garfield Reynolds.

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