Trade Minister confident of FTA with India by year's end

FEDERAL Trade Minister Andrew Robb says he is confident of securing a multi-billion free-trade agreement with India before the end of the year.

Mr Robb will lead Australia's largest-ever business mission to India over the next week to build on the growing economic momentum between the countries.

Mr Robb's visit follows the trip Prime Minister Tony Abbott made last year and comes on the back of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's successful visit to Australia during the G20 World Leader Summit.

Both leaders have said they would like to see a free trade agreement in place this year.

Last year Australia signed free trade agreements with China, Japan and Korea.

Mr Robb told ABC Radio on Friday a free trade agreement with India was extremely important.

But he said Australia would not sign an agreement just for agreement's sake.

"These things are eminently possible," Mr Robb said.

"I feel the political leadership in both countries being hell-bent on finalising this in 12 months is a very major factor in its achievement."

Mr Robb will lead a delegation of about 450 business and government representatives as part of Australia Business Week in India.

The delegation will include leaders who represent a wide range of sectors, including resources and energy, infrastructure, transport, agribusiness and food, financial services, health and medical, sport, cultural services, tourism and education and training.

- APN NEWSDESK



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