Bilateral trade between India and Australia will increase to $45 billion per year after the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA), but there are ambitions to grow that number even more.
In a speech at an International Women’s Day event hosted by SCLAA in Sydney Australia India Business Council national chair Jodi McKay said currently, bilateral trade between the two countries is $27 billion, which is to nearly double with the new agreement.
However, Ms McKay said she spoke to the Indian trade minister last year when the agreement came into force, and he has the ambition to grow bilateral trade between the two countries to $100 billion by 2030.
“He’s set the bar really high. And now it’s up to all of us – business and government – to make that work,” she said.
She said enthusiasm for the deal and what it means has been more apparent on the Indian side than on the Australian side, but Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s visit today (8 March) to India aims to change that.
“I have been so overwhelmed by the enthusiasm on the India side of this relationship,” she said.
“We are yet to see that same enthusiasm from the Australian side. I think Prime Minister Albanese, his visit today is about recognising that we still have a lot of work to do in Australia in recognising the significance of India as a bilateral trading partner.”
Ms McKay said many countries, including Australia, had tried many times to secure a free-trade agreement with India.
“Last year, we achieved what many other countries have been seeking to achieve and we became the first western country, that Indian chose to have a free-trade agreement with,” she said.
“We have what is called first mover advantage, and it’s important that we take advantage of that.”