India seeks market access to export agri products to Australia

India has asked Australia to facilitate the exports of agricultural, dairy and poultry products, through appropriate market access initiatives and the removal of non-tariff barriers.

During his bilateral talks with Australian trade minister Simon Crean, union minister of commerce and industry Kamal Nath said India was keen to export these products to Australia and was also looking forward to exporting mangoes from April 2008.

"India is growing and a stable investment climate presents huge opportunities for Australian companies, particularly in energy and infrastructure sectors," Nath told the Australian delegation. He added "Some of the major Australian companies, which have invested in India are BHP Petroleum Pty. Ltd., Telstra Corporation Ltd., Telstra Holding Pty. Ltd., Australian India Resources N L, BHP Steel, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, MIM Holdings, Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation, etc. Australia's investments in India have been $1.92 billion since 1991. Indian investments in Australia are now well over $1 billion and most of these are in the IT sector."

Bilateral trade between India and Australia has seen a growth of 37.50 per cent between 2005-06 and 2006-07, with the total bilateral trade during 2006-07 being $7,932.79 million. From April to September 2007 bilateral trade between the two countries was $4,967.27 million recording a growth of 29.41 per cent for the same period in 2006 with a compounded annual growth of 28.96 per cent.

India's exports to Australia in 2006-07 were $924.78 million, an increase of 12.61 per cent from 2005-06. India's imports in 2006-07 were $7,008.01 million, an increase of 41.64 per cent over 2005-06. Australia's trade in services with India during 2006-07 was $1,895 million, of which the import of services was $360 million and export being $1,536 million.

The major items of India's exports are gems and jewellery, metals, machinery and instruments, cotton yarn, fabrics, drugs and pharmaceuticals. The major imports consist of gold, coal, coke and briquettes, metal ore, metal scraps and non-ferrous metals.