Australia, India agree on free trade deal

CANBERRA, April 2 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government reached an agreement on a trade agreement with India on Saturday.

Photo: Agencies

The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI ECTA) was hailed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison as a major economic boon.

The deal will remove tariffs on 85 percent of Australian exports to India, rising to 91 percent within 10 years.

India was Australia's seventh-largest trading partner in 2020, with two-way trade valued at 24.3 billion Australian dollars (18.2 billion U.S. dollars).

The federal government previously said it plans for India to be a top-three trade market by 2035.

Morrison said in a statement that the agreement would create "enormous trade diversification opportunities for Australian producers and service providers."

However, major agricultural exports including dairy and beef were excluded from the interim agreement, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The media statement suggested that both countries continue to work towards a full Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.