Australia is reportedly seeking India to sign a digital services agreement as part of the bigger Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in an effort to strengthen bilateral commerce.
Australia’s Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Tim Watts said, “Next on the agenda is the comprehensive economic and trade agreement, and one of the things that we explore is digital services.”
“We think that digital trade is a real worthwhile agenda because it is not just data, but it underpins all trade. So, we can better facilitate trade across the board,” he further added.
Tim Watts, Australia’s assistant minister for foreign affairs, said that one of the topics that would be explored during the comprehensive economic and trade deal is digital services.
According to reports, Australia is advocating for expanded access for service providers, contemporary investor protections, and suitable safeguards for the regulatory authority of states.
In areas like automation, artificial intelligence, ed-tech, and the services industry, the two sides may experience convergence, according to a report the Australian government commissioned.
This coincides with an increase in goodwill between the two nations. In order to promote and expand the space technology markets in both nations, the two parties have signed a number of agreements, including the most recent six Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) between the Australian Space Agency (ASA) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
While visiting Australia in April, Union Minister Piyush Goyal urged stepping up investments and fortifying relationships with Australian businesses, particularly startups.
This is largely attributable to India, which is a significant producer and consumer of digital goods. Indian-Australian entrepreneurs have gone on to launch companies like packaged tea seller Chai Walli and insurtech firm Upcover. Australian startups like online graphic design platforms Canva and Prospa have a strong following in India.
To support the domestic startup ecosystem, the Indian government has been working in collaboration with several other nations. When Union Minister Piyush Goyal stated that India wants to have the world’s largest startup environment earlier this year, it was clear that this was the case.
The India-UAE Start-Up Corridor has been established in May due to a deal between FICCI’s startup incubator and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Prior to that, a $150 million India-UAE venture capital fund was also established on the fringes of Dubai Expo 2020 in order to support the expansion of startups in the two nations.
Additionally, India and Germany are working together to boost research and startup initiatives based on artificial intelligence (AI). Along with these areas, both nations are collaborating on quantum technology, renewable hydrogen fuel, and other projects.
In order to promote innovation and hasten the development of dual-use technology by small and medium-sized businesses in both countries, India and Israel struck a deal in November of last year.
An agreement was also inked between India and Canada back in 2018 to give companies from both nations access to the other’s markets. In a similar vein, the UK-India Startup Launchpad, which is intended to encourage entrepreneurs in both nations, was introduced back in 2019.