Australian businesses will soon have the chance to take advantage of new trade opportunities following the passing of the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA).
On 22 November the implementing legislation for the ECTA passed both houses of Australia’s Parliament, with the agreement to come into force on 29 December.
By providing preferential access for Indian gems and jewellery exports the deal makes it cheaper for Australian retailers to procure jewellery sourced from Indian manufacturers.
Recently elected Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the ECTA is the latest in a series of efforts to improve trading between the two nations.
“Australia and India are increasingly working together as strategic and economic partners. We elevated our relationship with India to a Strategic Partnership in 2009 and to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2020,” he said.
“The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement is the next step in elevating our relationship with India, the world’s fastest growing large economy.”
Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) chairman Vipul Shah echoed this sentiment.
“Since the India-Australia negotiations started, India’s gem and jewellery exports have witnessed positive growth, complementing the upcoming India-Australia ECTA. India’s gem and jewellery exports to Australia grew 21 per cent from April to October as compared to the same period last year,” he explained.
“We expect Australia to benefit from access to areas where India is a world leader, such as diamonds. We expect the agreement to boost bilateral gem and jewellery trade from $US1.3 billion at present to $US2 billion.”
Shah added: “Australia is one of our large suppliers of gold bullion, and until recently, it was also a key supplier of diamonds.
Australia imports plain gold jewellery, studded jewellery, and cut and polished diamonds from India. Australia exports precious metals, including gold and silver, to India.
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