New Delhi: Highlighting that India has a unique opportunity to stay ahead in terms of trade, Australian Prime Minister's Special Trade Envoy Tony Abbott on Friday (December 3) said that China has weaponised trade, and it is difficult to see Beijing as a trusted partner.
During a virtual press conference in New Delhi, the Australian special trade envoy said that India has democracy, the rule of law and a good understanding of business.
"As an Australian, we have seen the weaponisation of trade. Something like 20 billion dollars worth of Australian trade has been disrupted or suspended by China. It is very difficult to see China as a trusted partner," Abbott said.
"India is in a very very different situation, the democracy, the rule of law, a good understanding that business and governments are substantially independent of each other and that the sanctity of contract has to be respected. So this is why I think the difficulties with China, certainly mean that India has quite a unique opportunity to stay particularly with the supply chain that you know need to be absolutely reliable," he added.
The Special Trade Envoy also said that he met Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and discussed Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
He added that the "timetable will be met" for India's early harvest FTA pact.
The Union Minister on Thursday met Tony Abbott and had an extensive discussion on the ways to expand bilateral ties.
Taking to Twitter, Goyal said India and Australia have a huge potential to energise their trade relationship through Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
"Met with @HonTonyAbbott, Special Trade Envoy of the Prime Minister of Australia. Had an extensive discussion on the huge potential India & Australia have to further energise & expand our bilateral ties through Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for mutual economic prosperity," Union Minister Goyal tweeted.
In September, India and Australia had announced that they would sign a comprehensive Free Trade agreement by the end of 2022 and an early harvest trade deal by Christmas later this year.
The announcement was made at a joint media briefing with Commerce and Industry Minister Goyal and Australian Minister Abbott during the latter's visit to India.