Various export promotion councils (EPCs) on Wednesday lauded the trade agreements signed by India with the UAE and Australia, saying the pacts will help the country in boosting exports by granting preferential access to those markets for Indian products.
Engineering Exports Promotion Council (EEPC) said that the country has benefited from preferential market access provided by the UAE on over 97 per cent of its tariff lines which account for 99 per cent of Indian exports to the region in value terms.
Eastern regional chairman of EEPC, B D Agarwal, said at an interactive session here that this trend has emerged after signing of the India–UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) which became effective from May one, 2022.
The India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), which will come into force from December 29, is expected to create 10 lakh jobs, and raise Indian merchandise exports to Australia by USD 10 billion, he said.
According to him, the ECTA will also allow zero duty on 100 per cent tariff lines, and provide cheaper raw materials to steel and aluminium sectors. The trade pact will also raise the bilateral trade volume to USD 45-50 billion in five years.
Bipin Menon, development commissioner, Noida SEZ, said that India is the sixth largest trading partner of Australia.
India’s bilateral trade in goods and services with Australia saw a 106.5 per cent rise reaching USD 25.04 billion in the current financial year over the previous fiscal, he said.
Menon also said that the ECTA with Australia will secure a foothold in the world’s fastest-growing large economy.
The CEPA with the UAE is also expected to increase the total value of bilateral trade in goods to over USD 100 billion and in services to over USD 15 billion within five years, he added.
Rowan Ainsworth, consul general of Australia in Kolkata, said that ECTA will help Australian manufacturers strengthen their supply chain resilience, and enhance trade diversification while also connecting the two complementary and stable economies.
Deputy DGFT, Kolkata, Anand Mohan Mishra, said that in recent years, India-Australia bilateral relationship has charted a whole new trajectory of transformational growth. The trade relationship facilitated through ECTA will open a new chapter in India-Australia association thereby enhancing India’s merchandised exports significantly.
Pankaj Parekh, regional chairman, the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, said the ECTA will double India’s gem and jewellery exports to Australia, from its current USD 350 million to USD 800 million in three years. Post the India-UAE CEPA in May, gems and jewellery exports to the region witnessed an overall export growth of 20 per cent to the region.
Regional chairman of Plastics Export Promotion Council (PLEXCONCIL) Lalit Agarwal said that the export potential for plastics from India stands at USD five billion to the UAE and USD six billion to Australia. Under the India-UAE CEPA, import duty applicable in the UAE on 260 plastic products has been reduced from 5 per cent to zero with immediate effect.
Under the India-Australia ECTA, import duty applicable in Australia has been reduced on all the tariff lines for plastic products with immediate effect which would act as a great booster for the outbound shipments, he added.