India and Australia are in the advanced stage of finalising a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the production and trade of wool and woolen products in India and Australia, union minister of commerce, industry and textiles Anand Sharma said.
During his meeting with visiting Australian minister of sports, industry and innovation, Kate Lundy, here today he said the process of approval of the draft for the MoU is in the final stages.
''We are seeking to setting up a world class wool testing laboratory in Mumbai in collaboration with the Wool Testing Authority in Australia and Wool Research Association in Mumbai,'' Sharma said.
The MoU will explore possibilities for enhanced cooperation and development in the field of wool and woolen products by way of capacity building, research and training, in areas including improved wool production, quality assurance and testing, skills development and improvement, integrated wool processing and development, and marketing systems.
Besides collaboration with the Australian wool exchange for establishing a wool exchange on similar lines in Indian efforts are also being made for collaboration with Australian Wool Innovation for promotion of manufactured wool products to boost the efforts being made by Wool Texpro, he said.
Meanwhile, India's imports of textiles from Australia during the calendar year 2010 stood at $155 million, a major part of it on account of wool. India has also emerged as the third largest supplier of apparel to Australia after China and Bangladesh.