India’s Exports To Australia Rise 14% To Touch $5.8 Billion During Apr-Nov


India’s exports to Australia logged an increase of 14 per cent to touch $5.8 billion in the April to November period in the current fiscal year, owing to robust growth in several sectors such as engineering, pharma, and electronics, a senior government official said on Friday. 

Rajesh Agrawal, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, noted that businesses functioning in both countries are benefiting from the interim free trade agreement, effective from December 29, 2022. He further informed that the negotiations to expand the existing FTA into a more detailed deal are also moving ahead well, reported PTI. 

“We expect to have some negotiations on rules of origin during January. That is one area where we have to work out detailed product-specific rules, and it takes time,” the official said.

Notably, the foreign direct investments from Australia to India also increased at an annual average of $30-40 million to $300 million this year, Agrawal informed. At the same time, India’s imports from Australia declined by 19 per cent to $11.14 billion during the first eight months of the 2023-24 fiscal year. 

Official data provided by the department revealed that bilateral trade during the reporting period dipped 10 per cent to $17 billion. “Export sectors, which have recorded healthy growth during the seven-month period of this fiscal, include engineering, pharma, electronics, spices, coffee, textiles, marine products, cashew and plastic. We are gaining market share in Australia. Preferential duties are working in favour of industry. We are diversifying our trade basket with Australia,” the secretary added. 

The exports of gems and jewellery, and handicrafts logged a negative growth during the period. The inbound shipments of gold rose to $1.56 billion during the April to October period in the current fiscal against $436 million logged in the corresponding period a year earlier. Other import segments such as pulses, metals, iron and steel, wood and wood products, machine tools, and newsprint, logged healthy growth. 

Sharing the data, Additional DGFT, Tapan Mazumder, stated that the export sectors which included custom duty concessions under the agreement saw positive growth. These products include gold jewellery studded with natural diamonds, non-galvanised pipe for oil and gas, unstudded gold jewellery, skirts and dresses made of materials other than silk, dresses of artificial fibres, and cotton garments. 

Commenting on which country is benefitting more from the agreement, Agrawal stated that it is too soon to say anything on the subject. Elaborating on the agreement, trade expert and Hi-Tech Gears Chairman, Deep Kapuria, said, “Australia holds immense importance for India in view of India’s ambition of energy transition, which is critical for achieving net zero by 2070. A deeper trade agreement with Australia would help India in securing its needs of critical minerals.”

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