Former Minister for Trade
Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Media Release

1 September 2009

Trade Minister's visit to India

Trade Minister, Simon Crean, will today depart for New Delhi, India, on a visit from 2-5 September that is aimed at strengthening links with India and advancing the World Trade Organization’s Doha Round of trade negotiations.

It is Mr Crean’s second visit to India as Minister for Trade. He will attend a meeting of trade ministers hosted by India to advance the Doha Round of negotiations in New Delhi.

Mr Crean said the meeting was taking place at a crucial time and continues to build the political momentum for conclusion of the Round.

“There is growing political support for concluding the Round, but not enough instruction to senior officials to resolve issues at the technical level,” he said.

“Ministers need to provide specific instructions to their trade negotiators to settle outstanding issues.”

The renewed political momentum from meetings in recent months of the Cairns Group, OECD and APEC has highlighted the priority that WTO Members attach to concluding the Doha Round.

The meeting will also be important in ensuring a prominent focus on the Doha Round during the meeting of G20 Leaders in Pittsburgh on 24-25 September.

“The New Delhi ministerial can provide an important pathway for Doha discussions at the G20 leaders meeting in Pittsburgh later in the month,” Mr Crean said.

Mr Crean will hold bilateral meetings with many of his trade counterparts in the margins of the main meeting to discuss the way forward in the Doha negotiations.  He will also Chair a meeting of the Cairns Group of Trade Ministers who continue to play a key role in driving the Doha Round forward. 

Mr Crean will pay a visit to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while in New Delhi.

Mr Crean will also hold bilateral talks with India’s Minister for Commerce and Industry, the Hon Anand Sharma MP, at which discussion will include progress on the joint Free Trade Agreement study.

A feasibility study has been commissioned by both governments to examine whether the rapid growth in our economic relationship can be taken to the next level through a trade agreement.

On Wednesday 2 September, Mr Crean will address the Confederation of Indian Industry conference on strategies to conclude the Doha Round. 

The trip will also complement the visit of Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s visit to India to work through issues surrounding education links between the two countries. Almost 100,000 Indian students are studying in Australia.

India is Australia’s fastest growing major two-way trading partner. In 2008, total trade between the two nations jumped 43 per cent to $19 billion. Australia’s major exports to India are coal, gold and education services.  

India's diversified economy, and population of 1.1 billion, offers Australian business many opportunities especially in agriculture, energy, manufacturing, mining and the services sectors. 

 

Media Inquiries: