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2011-05-13

India Australia meet to boost ties

Seeks to double trade to USD 40 billion over next four years and a proposed free trade agreement (FTA)

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma met his Australian counterpart Craig Emerson for the annual Australia-India joint ministerial commission trade talks and both side decided to double trade to USD 40 billion over next four years and said negotiations for a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) would be expedited.

The two-way trade between the countries is currently worth about USD 21 billion a year. India is Australia's third largest merchandise export market while Australia is India's eighth largest trading partner.

During the meeting, the ministers also announced setting up of the chief executive officers' forum which would be co-chaired by Indian MP and industrialist Naveen Jindal and leading Australian businessman Lindsay Fox.

The first meeting of the forum, which would provide business guidance to the governments as they negotiate the FTA, would take place later this year.

Both the ministers stressed on building pathways towards closer economic integration, to enable better trade and investment including a high-quality comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA) between Australia and India.

Sharma called for to double trade to USD 40 billion over next four years and said negotiations for a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) would be expedited.

Sharma will meet Emerson again this month at the OECD Ministerial Council in Paris.

 

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