Too late: Piyush Goyal says on India-Australia trade

New Delhi: Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday underlined the importance of the India-Australia economic cooperation and trade pact, saying that even though the pact was signed a little late, it is “better than ever”.

Goyal began his three-day visit to Australia on Tuesday after signing the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) on April 2.

The Minister visited the University of Melbourne. He was accompanied by Dan Tehan, Australia’s Minister of Business at Melbourne Law School, and Alan Myers, Chancellor of the University of Melbourne.

Addressing an important event at the University of Melbourne, Goyal said, “The India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) gives us an opportunity to get back the brotherhood, fraternity and solidarity that was justified.”

The minister stressed that 50 years was too late in enhancing India-Australia ties between the two countries. “It is a relationship where we naturally could have helped each other for the people of the two countries to grow, prosper and build a better future,” he said.

Appreciating the speed with which the trade agreement between the countries was concluded, Goyal said, “Even if you are late but it is good that you are there. That is the feeling that in the IndoS agreement… already. Better late than never.”

Goyal further said that India and Australia are already at a very advanced stage of entering into an agreement on greater cooperation on the education front. “…I hope the University of Melbourne will play an important role in our future plans together.”

During his address, Goyal paid tributes to the healthcare workers, doctors and nurses who contributed in saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also paid tribute to cricket legend Shane Warne, who passed away recently.

“The whole of India admired Shane Warne. He was a truly remarkable cricketer. The king of spin as they called him and we all mourned his demise at a very young age.”

During the visit, Goyal will hold extensive discussions with his Australian counterpart Dan Tehan MP, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment, on taking ECTA forward, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.

The ECTA is India’s first trade agreement with a developed country after more than a decade and provides an institutional mechanism to improve trade between the two countries.

Goyal will hold talks with Tony Abbott, Special Trade Envoy to the Australian PM. The Union Minister will also visit the historic Melbourne Cricket Ground and address the Australia-India Chamber of Commerce and Australia along with Minister Dan Tehan. Read also: FD Alert! HDFC Bank hikes interest rate on fixed deposits from April 6, check latest rates

He will later visit the Shiva Vishnu Temple in Melbourne and participate in a community event with the Indian diaspora. Australia is India’s 17th largest trading partner and India is Australia’s 9th largest trading partner. Read also: Kinder products linked to salmonella outbreaks; Company recalls surprise chocolate eggs

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