Minerals in PLI products on Oz business delegation’s India visit agenda
Ahead of the implementation of the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), a 106-member business delegation from Canberra is visiting this week to forge ties across agriculture, critical minerals, infrastructure, digital health and education.
“This visit is all about those commercial partnerships…to get business here to start talking. We have primarily focused on eight critical minerals including lithium, graphite, and titanium that are of equal value to both India and Australia,” said Denise Eaton, Trade and Investment Commissioner, Australian Trade and Investment Commission.
The minerals, used in electric vehicles and the medical devices, are an area of key interest for India as the country has launched Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes for these sectors.
“Australia is excellent in exploration, extraction, production and processing of critical minerals…and India is strengthening its manufacturing capability. So, we can together improve that supply chain resilience,” Eaton said.
The ECTA, signed in April, is expected to enter into force this year after both countries complete domestic and parliamentary processes. It is India’s first trade agreement with a developed country after more than a decade and Canberra’s first where dairy has not been included.
India has kept many sensitive products in the exclusion category (29.8% of tariff lines) in the pact without offering any concession.
Canberra will eliminate tariffs for most critical minerals such as zirconium, titanium, copper, cobalt, nickel, aluminium and tin ores on the ECTA’s entry into force.
As per Eaton, Australia is being courted by the US, Japan, Korea and the UK but there is particular interest in India as it is a “mid to long term market”.
Australia has reserves of at least 21 of the 49 critical minerals identified by India and has the potential to be one of the top suppliers of cobalt and zircon to New Delhi. The country also has reserves to supply many other critical minerals to India, including lithium, rare earth elements and tantalum.
Besides trade in goods, the trade pact has chapters on trade in services, digital trade, government procurement, trade remedies, rules of origin, temporary movement of natural persons and dispute settlement.