The Australian Parliament passed a bilateral free trade agreement with India and the UK, Tuesday (22/11).
The deal is crucial for Australia to diversify its exports from the troubled Chinese market to India and the need for Britain to forge a new bilateral trade relationship since leaving the European Union.
The bill easily passed the House of Representatives on Monday (21/11), and the Senate made it into law on Tuesday (22/11).
The deal needs to be ratified by the respective British and Indian parliaments before it goes into effect.
Commerce Secretary Don Farrell commented on the free trade agreement in the Senate Tuesday: “More trade, not less, is a critical part of how we build the economic future we want in Australia with safe, high-paying jobs and a globally competitive economy.” open world and powered by clean energy.”
Under the Australia-British deal, more than 99 per cent of Australian goods exports will be duty-free, including lamb, beef, milk, sugar and wine.
Taxes on 90 per cent of Australian goods exported to India including meat, wool, cotton, seafood, nuts and avocados will also be removed.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese discussed the deal with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last week on the sidelines of the Group of 20 Summit in Indonesia.
Albanese said he would visit India in March to advance the deal signed in April.
The UK deal was signed in December by then prime minister Boris Johnson’s government and has been criticized by his successors for not providing more benefits for the UK.
The deal will enter into force 30 days after countries communicate in writing that a supporting law has been passed by their respective parliaments.
Albanese and his ministers on Tuesday welcomed Director General of the World Trade Office Nzogi Okonjo-Iweala in the nation’s capital, Canberra.
Farrell said the topics of discussion with Okonjo-Iweala included how to implement the results of the world trade bodies conference in June.
The WTO reached a series of agreements and commitments in June aimed at protecting marine fish stocks, expanding production of COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries, enhancing food security and reforming the 27-year-old trading body. [ab/lt]