The relationship between India and Australia has always been cordial, with the two nations sharing a lot in common. For instance, both nations were part of the British colonies, with their freedom being attained within a few years of each other. Over the years, both nations have developed in several areas, including trade, business and politics. In recent years, the leaders of both nations have been keen on deepening the ties between the two nations, and two people who are central to achieving that objective are Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Australian trade minister Simon Farrell.
Sitharaman and Farrell are both members of their respective countries’ governments. Farrell was appointed as Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment in May 2019, and Sitharaman was appointed as the finance minister for India in May 2019. One of the areas they are constantly working on is the promotion of trade and business between India and Australia. In this article, we will discuss some of the options available to them as they work towards deepening business ties between India and Australia.
Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
The Australian government has been pushing for a free trade agreement with India for more than a decade. India has been reluctant to move forward with an FTA, citing concerns about the protection of its domestic industry. However, with the arrival of Sitharaman as the finance minister, Farrell has expressed hope that an FTA may finally be possible. In recent months, there have been discussions about restarting negotiations on a potential FTA. If the two governments can reach an agreement, it could be a game-changer for businesses in both nations.
Another area that Sitharaman and Farrell are keen on is promoting investment between India and Australia. India is a massive market, and there are plenty of opportunities for Australian businesses to grow in India. Likewise, there are several areas where Indian businesses can expand in Australia. Sitharaman and Farrell have been discussing ways to promote investment, including setting up a joint investment fund and easing regulations to encourage investment in both countries. By working together to promote investment, they can deepen ties between the two nations.
Collaboration in the Agriculture Sector
India is one of the world’s largest producers of food, with agriculture being one of the nation’s core sectors. Meanwhile, Australia is known for its high-quality agricultural products, including beef, wheat, and vegetables. Sitharaman and Farrell see an opportunity for collaboration between the two nations in the agriculture sector. By partnering together, they can share knowledge and expertise and collaborate on research and development. This will not only deepen the relationship between the two nations but also provide significant benefits to farmers and consumers in both countries.
Joint Research and Innovation
India and Australia are both known for their innovation and technological advancements, and Sitharaman and Farrell see the potential to collaborate on research and innovation. By working together on research projects, both countries can share their knowledge and expertise and benefit from the shared knowledge. The collaboration can also lead to significant economic benefits for both nations. Sitharaman and Farrell are keen on promoting and financing research-based startups, which will help them develop a deeper understanding of each other’s innovation ecosystem.
Sitharaman and Farrell’s efforts to deepen ties between India and Australia are a welcome development. They are committed to promoting trade and business relations and working towards making the relationship between the two nations more symbiotic. By exploring potential collaborations in areas such as trade, investments, agriculture, and innovation, they can mutually benefit both nations. As they work towards achieving these goals, there is a great hope that the relationship between India and Australia will grow stronger in the years to come.