New Delhi: Addressing the CII session on Enhancing India Australia Bilateral Economic and Trade Relationship on Friday, 18th December, the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal, said that there is tremendous scope for Australian investment into India as the country eases FDI norms and opens up different sectors. He said that India has also opened up its Agri sector for greater investments in food processing and value addition. The Minister also launched the India-Australia Economic Strategy Report, according to a press statement from the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
The Minister said India is trying continuously to make FDI policies more facilitative, congenial, and supportive of foreign investment. He said that newer areas like space, nuclear energy, and defence production will open up good opportunities for mutual engagement. Emerging sectors of defence, sports, textiles, textile designing, digital gaming, animation, water management, commercial ship-building, space collaboration, and digital engagement in education hold great promise in the efforts to balance this trade relationship, he mentioned.
Commerce & Industry Minister Goyal remarked that recent labour reforms will also enable a new ecosystem for labour regulations and flexibility in employment. Areas like tourism will generate a lot of jobs in India under the new framework, and will make tourism projects in India more viable. He said that India wishes to ensure that farmers secure even greater incomes, which would only be possible with more value addition on farm produce and greater engagement with the rest of the world to meet the needs of the international community.
The Commerce Minister specifically mentioned that with the “3B objectives” – Bigger trade basket, Better trade basket, Balanced trade relationship – India and Australia could see exponential growth in the trade relationship.
The Minister noted that in the backdrop of the pandemic, the focus of the industry, which had been to bring back economic activity, is yielding very good results, and that the economy is showing a V-shaped recovery. “India has utilised the opportunity thrown up by Covid-19 to further liberalise our economy & make it easier to do business in India. We are one of the most open economies today particularly with FDI in automatic route up to 100% in almost all sectors.”
Commerce Minister Goyal explained that diversification of supply chains is critical for managing the risks associated with the supply of inputs, including disciplining non-transparent & opaque economies. Australia & India have been working together even more closely on the strategic front, be it Malabar exercises, QUAD groupings, or the partnership on several strategic areas, he said, adding that this close collaboration will feed into the economic partnership also in the years to come.
Goyal mentioned that efforts like the Australia Strategy Report will help to align trade & economic policies to implement this strategy report. “We can find good areas of cooperation which will also dovetail into our negotiations for a comprehensive economic partnership agreement,” he concluded.
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