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India is fastest-growing trade partner for Australianews
20 June 2007

Mumbai: India is now Australia''s fastest-growing trade partner even as the country and Europe are the main trade destinations for Australian exporters, media reports said.

From a low base five years ago, India is now Australia ''s fastest-growing trade partner, it said. Exports to India have grown at an annual rate of 27 per cent over the past five years.

India ''s consolidation of trade ties with Australia and the re-emergence of Europe as a major trading partner are both featured in the latest DHL Export Barometer released, The Age newspaper said.

The Barometer, a measure of trade expectations, shows that 56 per cent exporters foresee an increase of orders from India next year, while 65 per cent of exporters predict an increase from Europe.

Australia ''s exporters remained resilient despite the high value of the dollar and inflated fuel prices, reports quoted ''Austrade chief economist Tim Harcourt as saying.

"This is partly due to the health of the global economy and a renewed focus on Europe as an export market," Harcourt said.

DHL''s Barometer, which is based on a sample survey of 364 exporting firms, is in line with official budget findings last month that showed the heightened importance of India to the Australian economy.

DHL''s strategic development group manager for Oceania, Paul Bellette said Australia''s exports to India comprised different products from exports to China.

Exports to China are dominated by commodities, which become inputs in the production of manufactured goods within China. Goods sold to India were more often used within India, either in infrastructure projects or enjoyed as consumption goods, Mr Bellette said.

This is partly due to demographic factors, with a relatively young Indian middle class keen consumers of foreign goods and services, particularly education.

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India is fastest-growing trade partner for Australia