Australia has expressed hope of securing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) or Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), with India. The talks for between India and Australia started in 2011 to boost bilateral trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. The FTA was announced after India signed a deal of Trans Pacific Partnership agreement with 11 other countries in New Zealand.
At a recent media briefing in Hyderabad Amanda Hodges, Senior Trade Commissioner of Australian Trade Commission, Ms. Amanda Hodges expressed hope that the between India and Australia is likely to be finalized in the next six months.
Ms. Amanda Hodges said that Indian IT firms have an opportunity to partner with Australian research institutions and technology companies for process improvements and developing new products. “Several Indian IT companies are already exploring opportunities to invest in Australian start-ups, commercialize Australian research and integrate novel Australian IT solutions into their supply chain," she said. “We will be evaluating the potential for sites such as Hyderabad and other places in India as a location for Landing Pad,” said Amanda Hodge. However she did not make an announcement that India will be a definite choice for the same.
Presently, six of the top Indian IT companies have made significant investments in Australia and it is expected to grow once CECA are signed.
Australian government's National Innovation and Science Agenda is in the process of establishing "landing pads" in some global innovation hubs. These Landing pads will be a physical space for the Australians looking to undertake entrepreneurial activity in that location with advice, facilities and contacts, putting them in the best position to succeed. Till date, two such landing pads have been established, one each in San Francisco and Tel Aviv.
The agreement was expected to be concluded by December last year, but was not able to reach any mutual decisions in areas such as the duty cuts on the dairy products and wines. After several negotiations steps have been taken to liberalise trade and services regime, besides removing the non-tariff barriers and encouraging further investments.