Days after Anthony Albanese met Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G20 summit this week, a new trade deal between Australia and India has been approved by a parliamentary committee.
It comes despite concerns about its broadness compared to arrangements with other nations, the Australian Associated Press is reporting this morning.
The treaties committee released their report approving the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA) on Friday.
But the committee noted the interim arrangement “under-achieves in areas of potential and immediate interest to Australia, such as wine”.
Labor MP Josh Wilson, who chairs the committee, described the deal as an ‘early harvest’ agreement which would pave the way for further trade, market access, investment and regulation.
“The committee has noted the importance of improved tariff reductions, greater access to services and on broader matters like intellectual property, cultural heritage, the environment and labour rights,” he said.
The committee also raised concerns with the lack of consultation on the deal, transparency of the negotiations and independent modelling.
Morning everyone. Thanks for joining us for live coverage of Australian news this Saturday. Here are a few of the stories likely to make headlines today.
Anthony Albanese will be among the top stories as he has been all week, with the prime minister close to the finishing line in his summit marathon. He is still in Bangkok for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit where trade will be top of his agenda. A major target is getting China to remove sanctions on trade worth $20bn and there is hope that his meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping earlier in the week at the G20 could help in that goal. He has also been spruiking Australia’s “return to the world stage”. Our political editor Katharine Murphy will be on hand to bring us live updates on his progress.
Flooding is still affecting many communities in central west New South Wales. There are 110 weather warnings in place for the state and the SES released an evacuation order for towns downstream of Forbes.
It’s also a bumper weekend of sport of course with Australia taking on England in the second one-day international at Sydney from this afternoon and the second AFLW preliminary final between Melbourne v North Melbourne playing for the right to play Brisbane in next Sunday’s final.
Australia are playing Samoa in the rugby league World Cup final tomorrow at 3am, and the Wallabies are up against world No 1 team Ireland at 7am tomorrow.