FTA with Australia

The Government is holding talks with Australia relating to a Free Trade Agreement (FTA); India faces trade deficit of US$ 8.5 billion in goods trade with Australia in the year 2010-11. The major challenges faced by India on the trade front with Australia are issues relating to Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures and Technical Barrier to Trade for goods trade and flow of investment and services. On the educational front, safety of Indian students and status of their permanent residency and employment are major challenges.

Consultations are made with Trade and Industry Associations directly affected by the FTA. Views of relevant Export Promotion Councils are sought before the negotiations, as also of the concerned Ministries of the Government of India. For specific clauses, which can affect a State Government, regional meetings are held and inputs taken. During FTA negotiations, discussions are mainly focused on challenges being faced in trade and commerce issues.

This information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.

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