Australia and India in trade talks

Media release

30 January 2013

Trade Minister Craig Emerson and India's Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma met in New Delhi yesterday for talks about the countries' trade and investment relationship.

Dr Emerson was in India for the 14th Australia-India Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC), established to explore how to deepen and broaden the commercial relationship between the two countries.

Issues covered at today's meeting included free trade talks, launched in 2011, business links, energy, food security and developments in regional and global trade negotiations.

"Australia's strategic partnership with India is based on converging interests and complementary economies," Dr Emerson said.

India is Australia's fourth-largest market, worth about $15 billion. Two-way trade is worth around A$18 billion.

The total stock of Indian investment in Australia has reached A$11 billion.

Australian companies, meanwhile, are showing increasing interest in investing in India, as the Indian Government undertakes further reform.

Dr Emerson said there was plenty of scope to develop the flow of goods and services, although he also emphasised the importance of cultural exchange between the two countries.

He welcomed the contribution of the Australia-India CEO Forum to building high-level business links. The third CEO Forum will be held in March in Victoria.

Australia's Indian community of over 450,000 people is the fastest growing migrant community in the country, and India is the second largest source of international students.

During his two-day visit to India, Dr Emerson launched a special edition of the 'Australia Unlimited' online magazine, celebrating the strength and diversity of the Australia-India relationship.

He also attended the Confederation of Indian Industry Partnership Summit in Agra to deliver an address on 'Australia in the Asian Century'.

"The White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century puts India firmly among Australia's top relationships," Dr Emerson said.

"It recognises that Australia's future is tied to the continued prosperity, sustainability and stability of the region, and India is a large part of this."

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