Naren Goenka, Chairman AEPC thanked the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Commerce & Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal for ratification of the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) by Australian Parliament, recently.
Chairman AEPC, Goenka said, “The Apparel Industry hails the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI ECTA), which will thrust India’s exports, employment and investment in the sector. The duty-free access for the sector to Australia under the trade pact will bring domestic exporters at par with global competitors and make local products competitive.” This will also provide a good opportunity for the Australian companies to embrace China plus one policy, he added.
Chairman further informed, “Recently, AEPC delegation participated in the International Sourcing Expo, Australia. The delegation had a successful meeting with brands, retail chains and business and industry associations, which included; K- Mart, Target, Just Group, Thomas Cook, Black Pepper, Orientique Australia, Australia India Business Council (AIBC), etc. The Australian companies’ mood was upbeat and they are all eagerly waiting to forge stronger ties and source garment and textiles products from India, this deal will be a shot in the arm for them. AEPC will be facilitating the Indian companies to connect with the right partners through its export promotion initiatives.”
“AEPC will be focusing upon growing our strategic export partnerships with emerging markets of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and other island countries in the Oceanic region. We foresee a stronger presence in the Australian market due to the Indo-Australia ECTA agreement,” Chairman AEPC added.
Goenka observed, “Australia has traditionally been the topmost trading partner for Indian garment with our exports occupying a share of approx. 4 percent of total Australian garment imports. The Indian apparel industry is good for producing spring and summer products, but not as good for making winter goods. Thus, Indian factories do not utilize their full capacity while producing winter goods. The zero-duty deal with Australia in the Southern hemisphere will keep Indian factories fully utilized during its lean period with orders for spring and summer products that Indian players are best in.”
Further Chairman AEPC noted that, there is a strong need for product diversification which has to sync with the import requirement of Australia to harness the full potential of India- Australia ECTA. This is the first FTA with a developed country after a decade, which was signed in a very short span of time. India will be getting zero duty benefit on 98.3 percent of the tariff lines from the day the agreement comes into force and on 100 percent of tariff lines within 5 years.
The total bilateral trade is expected to cross $ 45-50 bn in 5 years from existing $ 31 bn and as per the estimates India’s Merchandise Exports to increase by 10 bn by 2026-27. The deal is expected to create additional 10 lakhs jobs in India.