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India-Australia trade deal could chip away at China’s mineral monopolies, boost wine exports

- Canberra has ratified the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement, which could take effect in the coming weeks

- Deal is expected to be a boon for trade, but Australia’s overall exports to India will still pale in comparison to trade with China

A new trade deal with Australia could help India pave the way to a reduced reliance on China for critical minerals while also providing the Oceanic country with an emerging market for its wine exports, which plummeted following Canberra’s trade dispute with Beijing.

Ratified by Canberra last week after being signed in April, the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ETCA) is poised to eliminate tariffs on more than 90 per cent of Australian goods exported to India by value, including seafood, barley and sheep meat. India would also substantially reduce its 150 per cent tariff on bottled Australian wine above US$5.

Meanwhile, 96.4 per cent of India’s exports to Australia would get zero-duty access under the agreement that could potentially go into effect by the end of this year if India ratifies it soon.

“I think it’s probably the most comprehensive agreement that India has entered into, even though it is not by any means the most comprehensive one for Australia,” said Peter Varghese, a former secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia.
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