India, Australia sign pact aimed at strengthening Indo-Pacific trade

New Delhi, Apr 2 (EFE).- India and Australia signed a historic agreement on Saturday aimed at promoting the development of the Indo-Pacific region through increased bilateral trade across several important sectors.

The treaty is expected to boost bilateral trade to $50 billion over the next five years from the current figure of $27 billion, India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said during the signing of the document.

“There is huge potential in areas like textiles, pharma, hospitality, gems and jewelry and IT, amongst others,” Goyal added.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, were also present at the virtual signing ceremony.

Describing the signing of the pact as a “watershed moment” for bilateral ties, Modi said that it reflected “the depth of the mutual confidence between the two countries.”

Negotiations for the agreement began over a decade ago but were suspended in 2015 after nine rounds.

They resumed in 2020 amid growing pressure from China in the region and the strengthening of ties between the members of the QUAD alliance, of which both India and Australia are a part. EFE


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