India Shaping Up as ‘Big Win’ for Australian Trade, Farrell Says

(Bloomberg) -- Australian exports to India ranging from avocados and salmon to electric motors and pharmaceutical goods have steadily risen, Trade Minister Don Farrell said, describing his country’s ties with the South Asian nation as a “big win.”

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Canberra plans to spend A$14 million ($9.4 million) to further expand ties with New Delhi, including sending business missions to India for industries like agrifood, education, technology as well as energy and resources such as critical minerals, Farrell said in a speech in Sydney on Monday.

Farrell and Foreign Minister Penny Wong attended the launch of the Centre for Australia-India Relations’ Parramatta headquarters. Australia has sought to ramp up its diplomatic and economic ties with India as it tries to diversify trade away from a heavy dependence on China.

“In the 14 months since the Albanese Government implemented our trade deal with India, Australian businesses have seen a massive boost in exports,” Farrell said. “Our trade agreement has strengthened our economic relationship with India across a range of sectors.”

Canberra is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with India but the deal faces difficulties over agricultural products. Talks are on hold until India’s elections are out of the way. Farrell said the center-left Labor government will continue to negotiate and push for the “best possible deal” for Australia.

In July, the Australian Trade and Investment Commission will lead its first business mission to New Delhi and Mumbai, with a focus on renewable energy storage and hydrogen, Farrell said. The Albanese government will also begin consultations on a “future roadmap” for Australia’s economic engagement with India to forge new areas of cooperation.

--With assistance from Garfield Reynolds.

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