India and Australia plan to finalise an Interim Trade Agreement in the next 30 days. The deal will cover goods, services, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, customs procedure, and legal and Institutional issues. The two sides have accommodated and respected each other’s sensitivities, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal and Australia’s trade, tourism and investment minister Dan Tehan said in New Delhi on Friday.
“The good part of this friendship is that we have respected each other’s sensitivities,” Goyal said at a joint press conference after concluding their 3-day talks. “And the agreement is only a win-win with absolutely no negatives for both sides… So it’s a win-win agreement, which will satisfy the interests of people and businesses on both sides.”
The two nations are expected to sign the interim agreement in March and the India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) is expected to be concluded in 12 months thereafter.
“I’m happy to reinforce that and I’ve said in Australia very publicly, that we understand the sensitivities that India has when it comes to dairy, beef and wheat,” Tehan said.
Dairy and agriculture are India’s sensitive sectors as they are huge employers while Canberra has been cautious with opening up its services sector.