Australia intends to assess the status of the free trade agreement (FTA) talks with India and aims to reach an agreement by the end of the year.

“I will also use this visit to discuss progress on our Free Trade Agreement with India, the Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), which we are looking to conclude this year,” said Australia’s Assistant Trade Minister Tim Ayres.

Ayres is in India to take part in the G20 Trade and Investment Ministers' Meeting, which begins today and ends on August 25 in Jaipur. Later this week, he will also be in New Delhi for the B20 Business Summit.

Australia and India will be able to fulfil the full potential of their bilateral economic cooperation if an ambitious deal is reached, according to a statement released by Ayres on Wednesday.

The Economic Cooperation Trade Agreement between India and Australia was signed in April 2022 and went into force on December 29, 2022. The CECA is currently being developed by the two nations. 

With expected bilateral commerce in products and services of $46.5 billion in 2022, India is Australia's sixth-largest trading partner.

India will have bilateral talks to advance free trade agreement negotiations with a number of nations, including the UK, Canada, and the European Union, on the sidelines of the ministers meeting, according to Sunil Barthwal, the country's minister of commerce, who told reporters last week. 

“I look forward to meeting with my G20 counterparts to discuss how we can boost international trade and investment to help create more jobs, and address slowing global growth,” he said in his statement, adding that he will also advocate for Australia’s trade interests, including to reinforce G20 support for a strong rules-based multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its core.

He added that Australia and India will keep cooperating closely to promote India's G20 chairmanship. Ayres will also meet with peers from Europe to discuss developments in the talks for an Australia-European Union free trade agreement.