There is a tremendous scope for Australian companies to invest in India as the country has liberalised its foreign direct investment (FDI) in sectors like mining and defence production, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday.
He also expressed the hope to take forward the negotiations for the proposed free trade agreement between the countries, which is officially dubbed as a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA).
"I believe there is a tremendous scope for Australian investments also into India as we ease our FDI norms and open up different sectors like mining, and defence production. These are the areas which are of natural interest to Australia," Goyal said at CII's Partnership Summit.
Australia has been an attractive destination for several Indian companies particularly firms in the areas such as banking, IT, and petroleum, he said.
"We are looking forward to a faster ramp (up) of some of the companies which have faced some problems in Australia and I do hope that they will be able to get back into fast track implementation of their projects and serve the people of Australia with jobs and people of India with requisite raw materials," the minister added.
Further, he said India's exports to Australia are at "modest and moderate" levels and it needs to be increased for a balanced trade gap.
India's exports to Australia in 2019-20 stood at USD 2.9 billion, while imports aggregated at USD 9.8 billion.
Speaking at the webinar, Australian Senator Simon Birmingham said: "I particularly look forward to some early progress on our re-engagement on Australia-India CEPA".
He said that as the cricket teams of both the countries are engaged in fields right now, "let's hit the ball for six by getting a quick move on this agreement and scoring some quick runs".
He added that India has decided not to join right now the mega trade pact - RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) agreement -- and from Australian perspective, the "doors remain firmly open".