One year after the India-Australia Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) came into effect, engineering exports to Australia reached USD 944 million in April-November 2023-24, a 3 per cent increase.
However, imports from Australia also saw a significant 30 per cent upswing during the same period. India's engineering imports from Australia reached USD 355.02 million during April to October 2023-24.
Despite the sharp surge in imports, EEPC India chairman Arun K Garodia remains optimistic, pointing to a positive engineering trade balance of USD 471 million between April and October 2023-24. This, he says, underscores the resilience and competitiveness of India's engineering sector.
"While imports have increased more than exports in the short term of the new trade deal, we remain optimistic about the long-term benefits for the engineering sector. We expect a surge in exports to Australia, especially with their recent efforts to curb domestic industries and increased reliance on imports," Garodia told PTI.
He added that this could attract them to other countries like India under the free trade agreement, particularly as they become accustomed to importing from diverse sources with the "China plus one" strategy.
Garodia further expressed hope that engineering exports from India could double within a year (2024).
The share of India's engineering exports to its total merchandise exports to Australia also witnessed a significant rise, reaching 15.1 per cent during the review period. This increased share emphasizes the growing importance of India's engineering sector in bilateral trade dynamics between the two nations, Garodia said.
He also highlighted a significant outcome of the ETCA, the introduction of new tariff lines for various engineering products, which is expected to boost bilateral trade. This diversification includes products like dumpers, plastic-insulated conductors, and standard wires, and cables with a steel core. The inclusion of these products signifies a broader range of engineering goods being exported under the agreement.