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Indian workers and students will get easier access to Australia under a historic new trade deal that is set to make some Australians very wealthy.
The agreement will mean some of the 100,000 Indian students in Australia will be able to get a four-year visa to work as tech professionals or managers, and also make it easier for chefs and yoga teachers to move Down Under.
The Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement will also mean more choices for Australians on consumer goods such as drugs, clothes and shoes.
Those with the most to gain will be miners and farmers exporting to India as Australia seeks to reduce its reliance on the Chinese market and strengthen alliances with other countries in Asia.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) gestures during a virtual leaders summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (unseen)
Coming the other way will be more Indian students, chefs, yoga teachers and young people on working holiday visas, helping to reshape both countries.
‘It’s perhaps not as consumer-focused (as other trade deals) but very important to the economic partnership,’ Professor Tim Harcourt of the University of Technology, Sydney, told Daily Mail Australia.
‘It’s mainly resources and some agriculture. The tourism and higher education sides are (also) growing and are promising areas.’
He said that while China positioned itself as the world’s factory with a concentration in manufacturing in recent decades, India took a different path.
‘India positioned itself as the world’s lab and call centre with a concentration in telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, IT as well as traditional agriculture and some high valued manufacturing on the automotive and computer sectors,’ he said.
The agreement, which was signed on Saturday after 11 years of negotiations, is expected to increase trade between the two countries from $36.7billion per year to $60billion.
Economic tensions with China – which has seen huge tariffs placed on Australian goods such as beef, wine and barley – over the past couple of years helped focus minds and get the deal with India finalised.
It will see tariffs eliminated on more than 85 per cent of Australian goods exported to India and 96 per cent of exports going the other way.
Though it has already been signed by Minister for Trade Dan Tehan and his Indian counterpart Piyush Goyal in a virtual ceremony, it still has to be ratified by parliament.
With the federal parliament in recess until after next month’s federal election, that could be as far as four months away, regardless of who forms the next government.
Australian wool and sheep (pictured) exports to India are set to grow under a new trade deal between the countries
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the deal would help to secure more opportunities for Australian producers with the country’s seventh-largest trading partner.
‘This agreement opens a big door into the world’s fastest growing major economy for Australian farmers, manufacturers, producers and so many more,’ he said.
‘By unlocking the huge market of around 1.4 billion consumers in India, we are strengthening the economy and growing jobs right here at home.’
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, described the deal as a ‘watershed moment’ in the relationship between the countries.
‘On the basis of this agreement, together we will increase the resilience of supply chains, and also contribute to the stability of the Indo-Pacific region,’ he said.
Indian yoga teachers will find it much easier to bring their skills to Australia after a new trade agreement was signed. Pictured are yoga practitioners in Amritsar, India
When the deal passes through both both houses of parliament, Australian sheep farmers will be among the immediate winners, with a 30 per cent tariff on meat to be dropped immediately.
Duties on lobsters, coal, manganese, copper, alumina, titanium dioxide and rare earth minerals will also go.
Wine, infant formula, some peas and beans, macadamias, avocados, onions, cherries, apricots and strawberries are among the goods that will see tariffs lowered.
Coming the other way, India’s enormous pharmaceutical sector is expected to be a big winner with the deal easing Australian regulatory requirements.
The Federation of Indian Export Organisations also expects clothing, footwear, textile, leather, gems and engineering exporters to Australia to benefit from the agreement.
Once the deal passes, some of the 100,000 Indian students in Australia will be able to get for a four-year visa to stay on after their studies while working as tech professionals or managers.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (pictured) speaking during a virtual summit with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison
And around 1,800 chefs and yoga teachers will also get easy access to Australia.
Professor Harcourt said allowing some Indian students to get a four-year visa after their studies fit in with a long-term goal.
‘There is this view of education that you don’t just go for open-cut mining, which is getting students here,’ he said.
‘With India we also have quite a lot of joint ventures, research partnerships, because India has quite sophisticated engineering (skills) and similar language and institutions.’
He added that the traded deal includes ‘a lot of focus on services (such as education) due to India’s young population’.
Both countries will recognise professional qualifications, licensing and registration procedures and a task force has been established to focus on education, training and more opportunities for graduates.
Negotiations on the trade agreement had been ongoing for more than a decade, with the first round of talks between the countries taking place in 2011.
Trade Minister Dan Tehan (pictured) said tariffs would be eliminated on more than 85 per cent of Australian goods exported to India
‘This is great news for lobster fishers in Tasmania, wine producers in South Australia, macadamia farmers in Queensland, critical minerals miners in Western Australia,’ Mr Morrison said.
‘This agreement has been built on our strong security partnership and our joint efforts in the Quad (the security dialogue between Australia, India, Japan and the US), which has created the opportunity for our economic relationship to advance to a new level.’
The trade deal is also set to benefit the education and tourism sectors.
Australian services suppliers across more than 30 sectors will be assured to receive the best treatment by India in relation to any other trade deal India enters into.
Indian residents will also have new access to working holidays in Australia, having 1,000 places set aside, with the federal government having two years to implement the measure.
Australia-India ties used to be known as the three Cs – cricket, curry and commonwealth – but the new trade deal shows those days are now long gone.
AUSTRALIA-INDIA TRADE – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement is expected to see Australia’s exports to India grow over the next few years.
There are 1.4billion consumers in India.
Tariffs on Australia’s sheep meat exports of 30 per cent tariffs will be cut once the deal is in effect. Australian sheep meat already accounts for 20 per cent of India’s market.
Australian wine producers will see the tariff dropped from 150 per cent to between 75 and 100 per cent.
The deal will immediately cut tariffs on Australian rock lobsters.
Fresh produce will have tariffs removed ‘over time’.
Tariffs on Australian mineral resources including coal, alumina, manganese, copper, nickel, titanium and zirconium will be dropped immediately.
The deal will allow around 1,000 Indians a year to participate in the Work and Holiday Maker program.
Up to 96 per cent of Indian goods entering Australia will be tariff-free.
Australia and India started discussing the deal over 10 years ago in 2011.
Source: DailyMail AU