Australia will make it easier to import information technology professionals from India to help local businesses overcome skills shortages in the sector “under the free trade agreement being negotiated by Canberra and New Delhi,” according to the Australian Financial Review.
On Friday, the negotiators exchanged their respective offers to reduce trade barriers on goods. The proposals on services were swapped last week.
Federal Trade Minister Dan Tehan and India’s Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal have had several interactions in the recent weeks bringing the process to wrap up talks on the Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement soon.
Mr Tehan said finalising the Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement was his top priority. He held weekly talks with Indian counterpart Piyush Goyal to complete the deal by the end of the year.
Australia is already struggling to cope with a shortage of IT professionals, especially after the pandemic brought work and schooling home. According to AFR, the Tech Council estimates that by 2025, that gap will grow to 260,000 workers.
“India, a tech sector powerhouse, could help fill the void, with the final free trade deal to help Australian firms get access to the best human IT capabilities. This will be a key part of the agreement. India also has a strong interest in their international students and around the area of post-study work rights, so that’s another area we are looking at.” AFR quoted Mr Tehan as saying.
Both India and Australia had agreed to conclude the negotiations on full Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement by end of 2022.