Trade pact on backburner

By Rekha Bhattacharjee

The FTA has been stalled since 2014 ”“ both prime ministers have conceded ”“ it has been slow.

PM Turnbull says there is no guarantee for a formal FTA in the near future – thus business houses have been recommended to look for new ways to work with  India.

Both Prime Ministers have recommended to re energise ”“ draw up a list of both sides what they wish to reignite from the stalled deal. As PM turnbull said at a business reception in Mumbai ”“ “It is not about discovering  India  but cementing  India  as a priority economic partner”.

“I encourage all businesses in  India  and at home to seek more opportunities for us to travel in the same direction, helping and complementing one another. Each of us does better and walks further when we walk together. Now is the time to begin.”

Former head of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Varghese who was also a High Commissioner in  India  has been appointed as head of strategy.

The sticking point has been Agriculture.  India  has a long history of protectionism and labour mobility.

“The Indian governmental system I would say hasn’t been as enthusiastic about it as perhaps we in  Australia  would have liked” Malcolm Turnbull said.

Neither side was going to settle on a deal at any price!   Thus after concrete positions are tallied and delivered to the two prime ministers ”“ a decision is to be made in which areas of greater agreement is reached. ”˜It does not guarantee that a deal will be conducted ”“ but we will get on ”“ get on with it’ Turnbull.

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