‘Better late than never’, says Piyush Goyal on India-Australia trade deal

Melbourne [Australia], April 6 (ANI): Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday underlined the importance of the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement, saying even though the agreement was signed a bit late but its “better late than never.”Goyal began his three-day visit to Australia on Tuesday after inking the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) on April 2.

The Minister paid a visit to the University of Melbourne. He was accompanied by Australia’s Trade Minister Dan Tehan and Allan Myers, Chancellor, University of Melbourne, at the Melbourne Law School.

Addressing a key event at Melbourne University, Goyal said, “The India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) gives us an opportunity to get back the brotherhood, fraternity and togetherness that was rightly due.”The minister emphasised that India-Australia are 50 years too late in enhancing ties between the two countries.

“This is a relationship where we could have naturally helped each other to grow, prosper and make a better future for the people of both countries forward,” he added.

Appreciating the pace at which the trade deal was concluded between the countries, Goyal said, “Even though you are late but its good that you are there. That’s the sentiment that the IndAus agreement has… better late than never.”Goyal further said India and Australia are already at a very advanced stage of entering into an agreement on greater collaboration on the education front. “…I hope that The University of Melbourne will play an important role in our future plans together.”During his address, Goyal paid tribute to the health workers, doctors and nurses who contributed to saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also paid tribute to cricket legend Shane Warne, who recently passed away. “All of India admired Shane Warne. He was a truly remarkable cricketer. The King of Spin as they would call him and all of us mourned his passing away at a very young age.”During the visit, Goyal will hold wide-ranging discussions with his Australian counterpart, Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, on carrying forward the ECTA, the Ministry of CommerceIndustry said in a statement.

ECTA is the first trade agreement of India with a developed country after more than a decade and provides for an institutional mechanism to improve trade between the two countries.Goyal will hold talks with Tony Abbott, Australian PM’s Special Trade Envoy. Union Minister will also visit the landmark Melbourne Cricket Ground and address the Australia-India Chamber of Commerce and Austrade, along with Minister Dan Tehan.

He will later visit the Shiva Vishnu Temple in Melbourne and attend a Community event with the Indian Diaspora. Australia is the 17th largest trading partner of India and India is Australia’s 9th largest trading partner. (ANI)

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