Dan Tehan | Photo: Getty Images
Canberra: Australia's Minister for Trade and Investment Dan Tehan has said that he will visit India next week.
"While in India, I will seek to further advance our recent progress towards a free trade agreement, or what is called the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, CECA," he said in a statement.
Talking about Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government, the Minister said that the government has begun promoting a free trade narrative and is seeking closer economic ties with like-minded nations, including Australia.
For Australia, there are significant growth opportunities in critical minerals, infrastructure, energy, technology, agriculture, education and space - and it is these sectors we will place particular emphasis on in the government's soon-to-be-released update to Peter Varghese's India Economic Strategy.
Both countries are committed to achieving an early harvest announcement on an interim agreement to liberalise and deepen bilateral trade in goods and services, and pave the way for an early conclusion of a full CECA, added in the statement.
"Two years from now, India, the world's biggest democracy, is on track to become the world's most populous nation. Backed by one million Indians turning 18 every month, rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, and a drive for technological innovation and digitisation, India's economic story offers enormous promise," he said further.
He also said that Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, the Indian Trade Minister, and myself are seeking to make progress towards an interim deadline. "It's an ambitious approach, and this meeting will be crucial, but it's one that can be achieved if both sides are seeking a truly complementary agreement," he added.
"We are working towards an agreement that aligns with our principles and encourages expanded trade and investment flow to the benefit of the economies and peoples of both countries. The growing size and strength of the Indonesian and Indian economies is a win for Australia, for our region and the world," he said.