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Tony Abbott Australian PM Special Trade Envoy


New Delhi: Australian Prime Minister’s Special Trade Envoy and former Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that China has weaponised trade and that it was difficult to see Beijing as a trusted partner. Speaking at a virtual press conference on Friday, Abbott said that India has a unique opportunity to stay ahead in terms of trade. 

During the virtual conference, Abbott said that India has a 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,” he 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,” Abbott added. 

He said that he met Union Minister of Commerce and Industries, Piyush Goyal, and held a discussion regarding the Free Trade Agreement.

The Commerce and Industries Minister met Tony Abbott on Thursday and discussed ways to expand the bilateral ties. 

Taking to Twitter, Goyal wrote, “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.”

India and Australia made a joint announcement in September this year that the two countries will sign a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement by the end of 2022 and an early harvest trade deal by later this year around Christmas. 


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