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India-Australia trade deal takes effect this month; Work visas for chefs, yoga teachers, backpackers

On 30 November, Australian government issued a statement saying it "welcomes confirmation that the Indian government has completed its domestic requirements to enable implementation of the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA)."

The ground-breaking trade agreement will deliver new market access opportunities for Australian businesses and consumers from 29 December 2022.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said “Australia and India are increasingly working together as strategic and economic partners. The Australia-India ECTA is the next step in elevating our relationship with India, the world's fastest growing large economy.” 

The federal government, in a statement, said that 85 per cent of Australia's exports to India will be eliminated and high tariffs on a further 5 per cent of goods will be phased down. "Entry into force of the agreement before the New Year delivers a double bonus of two tariff cuts in quick succession: one as the agreement comes into effect and a second on 1 January 2023," it said.

"ECTA will save Australian exporters around $2 billion a year in tariffs, while consumers and business will save around $500 million in tariffs on imports of finished goods, and inputs to our manufacturing sector."

The tariff commitments provided by India in the agreement will open up access for Australia's exporters of products including critical minerals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, lentils, seafood, sheepmeat, horticulture and wine.  

Australian service suppliers will benefit from full or partial access across over 85 Indian services sectors and sub-sectors and will be guaranteed the highest standard of treatment that India grants to any future free trade agreement partner across 31 sectors and sub-sectors.

Australian services sectors to benefit include higher education and adult education, as well as business services such as tax, architecture and urban planning.

ECTA will support tourism and workforce needs in regional Australia by making 1000 Work and Holiday Program places available to young adventurous Indians. Australian government

It maintains opportunities for Indian students graduating in Australia to undertake post-study work, with a bonus year of stay for high-performing STEM graduates.

Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell said The ECTA's two tariff cuts in quick succession intensify the up-front benefits of this agreement for our exporters.“

"Businesses are encouraged to get on the front foot and prepare themselves now to take advantage of the substantial improvements in market access to India under the new agreement,” he added

Last week, Australia announced finalising its domestic requirements for the deal with the unanimous passage of government bills through both houses of Parliament.

Welcoming the announcement, Natasha Jha Bhaskar, Executive Director of Newland Global Group, said "the ECTA deal is both the dawn of a new trade orientation for Australia and a poster example of New India’s willingness to engage with countries on trade deals that it views as reciprocal, equitable, and non-discriminatory."


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