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‘India-Aus FTA will create immense business opportunities’

Melbourne: The free trade agreement between India and Australia that is expected to be signed by end of this year may not be the most robust but would create mechanisms to harvest immense business opportunities, the head of a think-tank here said today.

“The agreement could be later improved upon and that would signal huge opportunities that exist between the two nations,” Amitabh Mattoo, CEO and foundation director of Australia India Institute said.

“It would also create the mechanisms to harvest immense business opportunities,” he said.

“The Free trade agreement may not be the most robust one but it will certainly begin by identifying sectors where the two can do much more,” said Mattoo, while giving a talk on ‘The Modi Government : An early assessment of its policies and impact’.

Pointing out that Australia was already tapping rich benefits after signing the Free trade deal with China, Mattoo said that there was a eagerness to sign the agreement with India and the two Prime Ministers — Tony Abbott and Narendra Modi — who shared a great chemistry with each other were both committed to it.

Bilateral trade between Australia and India has been pegged at Australian dollars (AUD) 15 billion and the two sides have set a target to lift it to AUD 50 billion.

During official visits to India and Australia in September and November 2014 respectively, Abbott and Modi renewed both countries commitment for an early conclusion of an equitable, balanced, comprehensive and high quality agreement.

Lauding Modi’s current foreign policies, Mattoo said, “No Indian PM has travelled as much as Modi has done in the last 10 months and these visits have not been the just the formal, official or signing off ceremony but has been robust engagements with business, leaders, civil societies, academia, across the globe.”

“Modi’s foreign policies have reflected much greater creativity, imagination and energy as compared to the previous government,” he said.

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