Two-way trade in the spotlight for PM’s visit to India

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  • International policy and national security
Prime Minister Albanese dressed in a dark suit and tie shakes hands with Prime Minister Narendra Mohdi dressed in Indian formal wear. They stand in front of two flags, two seats and a small table. In the background is a wall painted like steel mesh.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese departs for India today, the world’s fifth largest and fastest growing major economy.

Prime Minister Albanese will lead a delegation to improve two-way trade between our countries and is accompanied by Minister for Trade and Tourism, Don Farrell, and Minister for Resources, Madeleine King.

It’s the first visit by an Australian prime minister in six years and comes on the heels of the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), which entered into force in December.

ECTA takes advantage of the complementary nature of our economic relationship, creating jobs and opportunities in both countries.

Under ECTA, there is expanded work, study and travel opportunities for Indians in Australia.

More than 85 per cent of Australian goods exports to India are now tariff-free, rising to 90 per cent over the next six years. And 96 per cent of imports from India are now tariff-free — a figure that will reach 100 per cent in four years.

India is Australia’s sixth-largest trading partner, fourth-largest export market and second-largest export market for education.[1]

Our cooperation is growing exponentially — in economic, social and cultural links, and in education, technology, energy, and defence.

During this trip the Prime Minister will visit Ahmedabad, Mumbai and New Delhi. It continues a long line of prime ministerial visits to the sub-continent since Sir Robert Menzies first travelled there in 1950.[2] Formal trade relations began several years earlier with the opening of the Trade Office in Sydney in 1941. This later became the Consulate General of India.

In 1968, Prime Minister Indira Ghandi became the first Indian prime minister to visit Australia and many state visits have been made both ways over the last 70 years by governors-general, foreign ministers, deputy prime ministers and other government officials.

Visits like today’s are essential to strengthening the Australia-India relationship, a relationship with a strong familial component.

The Indian community in Australia is our fastest-growing diaspora, with the latest census showing 976,000 or 3.8 per cent of Australia’s population identify as having Indian heritage. This includes 673,000 people, or 2.6 per cent of our population, who are Indian born.[3]

Prime Minister Modi will visit Australia this year for the Quad Leaders’ Summit, and Prime Minister Albanese will return to India in September to attend the G20 Summit.


[1] Media release: Trade deal unlocks access to India

[2] Trove: Menzies's Call To Empire

[3] 2021 People in Australia who were born in India, Census Country of birth QuickStats | Australian Bureau of Statistics (