Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb will make his third visit to India this year to continue building support to finalise a strong and mutually-beneficial Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) by the end of 2015.
Mr Robb arrives in New Delhi today for a three-day visit, and will attend the revitalised Australia-India CEO Forum at the invitation of the co-chairs, Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh and the Chairman of the Adani Group, Gautam Adani.
“Prime Ministers Abbott and Modi agreed to work towards concluding a CECA in 2015 to increase trade and investment, promote job growth and fuel prosperity for both our countries,” Mr Robb said.
Mr Robb said the Australian Government welcomes the opportunity to work with business leaders from India and Australia.
“With Australia and India’s top business leaders contributing to the Australia-India CEO Forum, we are committed to building and expanding our trade and investment relationship and together we will drive our future economic engagement,” he said.
Earlier this year Mr Robb visited India for the inaugural Global Exhibition on Services in New Delhi, following a visit in January for the successful Australia Business Week in India (ABWI), which saw more than 450 Australian business leaders take part in a week-long roadshow across the country, designed to boost trade and investment.
“The variety of new opportunities presenting themselves from our expanded economic engagement is providing exciting new pathways to further deepen bilateral ties between our two countries,” Mr Robb said.
“In addition to improving market access for goods, I’m determined to grow our services exports to this region, given it is one of the world’s most rapidly growing services markets on account of its rising middle class.
“And we are already seeing these opportunities take shape; the Australia India Council has provided Victoria University a grant to work with the Indian Government to establish elite sport systems, which has the potential to unlock future commercial opportunities in this growing services field,” he said.
India is Australia’s 12th largest trading partner and two-way trade between India and Australia is approximately $A15 billion. Indian foreign investment into Australia has reached almost $A11 billion, with $A9.8 billion of Australian investment in India.