Member for Barker Tony Pasin MP has welcomed the trade deal between Australia and India saying it will create jobs and opportunities for the Riverland region.

India and Australia have now signed the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI ECTA).

Under the deal:

  • Tariffs will be eliminated on more than 85 per cent of Australian goods exports to India (valued at more than $12.6 billion a year), rising to almost 91 per cent (valued at $13.4 billion) over 10 years.
  • Australian households and businesses will benefit, with 96 per cent of Indian goods imports entering Australia duty-free on entry into force.
  • Both countries will facilitate the recognition of professional qualifications, licensing, and registration procedures between professional services bodies in both countries.
  • Australian services suppliers in 31 sectors and sub-sectors will be guaranteed to receive the best treatment accorded by India to any future free trade agreement partner

Mr Pasin said the Riverland was set to benefit from the trade deal.

“This deal will open up new opportunities for Riverland businesses which means more jobs and a stronger local economy.”

“Australian exports to India are expected to grow to around $45 billion by 2035, lifting India into our top three export markets,” Mr Pasin said.

In 2020, India was Australia’s seventh largest trading partner, with two-way trade valued at $24.3 billion, and sixth largest goods and services export market, valued at $16.9 billion. Our Government’s goal is to lift India into our top three export markets by 2035, and to make India the third largest destination in Asia for outward Australian investment.

Mr Pasin said the deal was fantastic news for many export commodities including in the horticulture and wine industries.

Specifically, the deal includes:

  • elimination of tariffs over 7 years on avocados, certain peas and beans, onions, cherries, berries, macadamias, cashews, shelled pistachios and hazelnuts.
  • reduction of tariffs over 7 years for apricots and strawberries
  • Permanent annual quota of 150,000 tonnes for lentils, of 34,000 tonnes for almonds, of 13,700 tonnes for oranges and mandarins, and of 3,700 tonnes for pears with immediate 50 per cent tariff reduction.
  • tariffs reduced from 150 to 50 per cent over 10 years for bottles of wine valued over US$5 and tariffs reduced to 25 per cent over 10 years for bottles of wine valued over US$15.

Horticulture contributed $4.2 billion to Australia’s agricultural export income in 2021, while wine exports totalled $2.1 billion.

To aid the export of citrus into India, Mr Pasin said the Federal Government had awarded Citrus Australia a $485,000 grant to help exporters target the Indian market.

Mr Pasin said the project would help Citrus Australia map the Indian market and supply chains, build capabilities, and boost sales through business exchanges and marketing campaigns.

This will include regional workshops, including in South Australia, to inform citrus growers and exporters about how to capitalise on opportunities in India.

The Citrus Australia project will also aim to develop high value niche markets within India for Navel oranges and Afourer and Murcott mandarins.

“This is amazing news for the citrus industry who already exports almost 3,500 tonnes of citrus valued at $4.3 million to India,” Mr Pasin said.

Horticulture Innovation Australia has also been awarded a grant of more than $2 million for targeted research and export plans for 13 markets globally across 20 product categories of fruit, vegetables and nuts.

Mr Pasin said Horticulture Innovation Australia grant would help the horticultural sector realise its export potential in key markets such as Japan, Korea, Indonesia, the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, UAE, Qatar, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, India, and the UK.

“This will boost export opportunities for growers of almonds, citrus, dried grapes, olives, onions, potatoes, summer fruits, table grapes and vegetables,” Mr Pasin said.

Both grants to Citrus Australian and Horticulture Innovation Australia are being delivered through the Federal Government’s Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) grant program.

“Our Government’s trade initiatives are all aimed at helping our Agricultural industries reach their potential. The Riverland produces some of Australia’s highest quality fruit and vegetables and expanded trade opportunities in these sectors will be a huge boost for the Riverland economy,” Mr Pasin said.