NEW DELHI: The economic cooperation and trade agreement signed between India and Australia will enable the two countries to fully leverage the existing opportunities, besides facilitating the exchange of students, professionals and tourists, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday.
The India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (IndAus ECTA) was signed by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and his Australian counterpart Dan Tehan in the presence of Prime Minister Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in a virtual ceremony.
Modi said signing of the pact in such a short span of time reflects the depth of the mutual confidence between the countries.
He also underlined the huge potential that exists in the two economies to fulfil each other's needs, adding that this agreement will enable the countries to fully leverage these opportunities.
"This is a watershed moment for our bilateral relations...On the basis of this agreement, together, we will be able to increase the resilience of supply chains, and also contribute to the stability of the Indo-Pacific region," Modi noted.
This agreement, he said, will also facilitate the exchange of students, professionals, and tourists between the two nations.
Terming the signing of the pact as another milestone in the growing relationship between India and Australia, Prime Minister Morrison said the agreement further develops on the promise of the relationship.
Apart from increased trade and economic cooperation, he said, the agreement will further deepen the "warm and close ties" between the people of the two countries by expanding work, study and travel opportunities.
The Australian Prime Minister said the agreement would create enormous trade diversification opportunities for domestic producers and service providers bound for India, valued at up to USD 14.8 billion each year.
"This agreement opens a big door into the world's fastest growing major economy for Australian farmers, manufacturers, producers and so many more," he said, adding by unlocking the huge market of around 1.4 billion consumers in India, "we are strengthening the economy and growing jobs right here at home".
Further, he said the agreement is great news for lobster fishers in Tasmania, wine producers in South Australia, macadamia farmers in Queensland, critical minerals miners in Western Australia, lamb farmers from New South Wales, wool producers from Victoria and metallic ore producers from the Northern Territory.
"This agreement has been built on our strong security partnership and our joint efforts in the Quad, which has created the opportunity for our economic relationship to advance to a new level," he noted.