India, Australia agree to complete free trade agreement by end of 2022
India and Australia have agreed to conclude the free trade agreement between the two countries by the end of 2022. The announcement was made today following a meeting between the minister of Union Trade and Industry Piyush Goyal and his Australian counterpart Don Tehan.
Welcoming the development as a great day for the economic partnership between the two countries, said Australian Trade Minister Tehan, the two sides agreed on a roadmap to finalize the FTA after today’s discussion. Speaking to the media, Tehan affirmed the 2022 deadline for concluding the FTA.
Article 24 of the World Trade Organization, WTO allows countries to form customs unions (CUs) or FTAs ââunder two conditions. First, members should eliminate virtually all internal barriers to trade within the union, second, external trade barriers should not be increased on average.
Speaking at the joint press conference, Goyal said the deal takes advantage of complementarities between the two countries and will unlock trade potential between them. Responding to a question on India’s decision not to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, RCEP, the minister said India did not join RCEP because it was not in the economic interest of RCEP.
This development comes days after the prime ministers of the two nations, Narendra Modi and Scott Morrison, met in Washington as part of the QUAD leaders’ meeting.