Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb, is visiting India (24-29 October) for the fourth time this year to advance Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) negotiations towards an early conclusion.
The Minister will also lead a senior delegation of Australian participants in the inaugural Australia India Leadership Dialogue (AILD) in New Delhi and meet with high-level investors.
“We have made some good progress in recent months in advancing our mutual aim of concluding CECA negotiations. We are striving for a high quality agreement that will promote increased trade in goods and services as well as investment flows between our two countries. This will help support growth and innovation and importantly create new jobs opportunities for Australia,” Mr Robb said.
“India presents some enormous prospects for Australian exporters on account of a market of 1.2 billion people which includes a rising middle class. In particular, a broad range of our quality services have the scope to play a notable role in assisting India’s economic transformation. We can provide services directly as well as help build new capacity within the Indian economy to meet increasing demand,” he said.
The AILD will bring together leaders from Australian and Indian business, government and civil society. The respective AILD patrons are Visy Industries Executive Chairman Anthony Pratt and Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra.
“The Leadership Dialogue is a concrete example of our work across the private and public sectors to expand and strengthen links between Australia and India. Importantly, in the tradition of our dialogue with the United States, the Dialogue enjoys strong bipartisan support,” MR Robb said.
Participants from Australia will include Attorney General George Brandis, Shadow Trade and Investment Minister Penny Wong, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen, Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh, Foreign Editor of The Australian Greg Sheridan and Director Pratt Industries Ross Fitzgerald who will co-chair the Dialogue with Amitabh Mattoo, the inaugural Director of the Australia-India Institute, among other participants.
“This important initiative to foster deeper relations comes from the momentum generated by the revitalised Australia-India CEO Forum, at which our top business leaders met in June,” Mr Robb said.
In Chennai, Mr Robb will promote Australia’s world-class research, technology and innovative industries and highlight the expanded opportunities the CECA would offer for two-way trade and investment. He will also meet with senior investors and attend a concert by the internationally renowned Australian World Orchestra, another great Aussie export.
India is Australia’s 12th largest trading partner with two-way trade worth around $15 billion. It is our seventh largest export market.
“The fact our two-way trade with our biggest trading partner China is worth more than $150 billion underscores the enormous growth potential in our economic relationship with India,” Mr Robb said.
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