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Australian businesses and higher education suppliers will have "greater access" to the Indian market, the Australian government said as the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement came into force on December 29. "This agreement reflects the government's commitment to diversifying exports and strengthening our partnerships," Australian minister for Trade and Tourism, Don Farrell, said.

The agreement will also unlock deeper economic and social benefits, according to Universities Australia. "Universities fully support the government's focus on growing our relationship with India, which has come on in leaps and bounds,” chief executive Catriona Jackson said. "India wants to educate 500 million students by 2035. Our world-class universities are ready to help India meet their goal, giving as many people as possible the educational opportunities they deserve."" It will also strengthen deep education and research ties for the benefit of both countries, she continued.

The agreement was also welcomed by the independent skills training and higher education sectors. The agreement will also support tourism and workforce needs in regional Australia, the Australian government added. Some 1,000 Work and Holiday Program places will be made available to young Indian

travellers. In the middle of 2022, India and Australia sought to bolster education ties as the latter faced shortages of some 500,000 skilled workers. "We look forward to working closely with the Australian and Indian governments to achieve the best outcomes for universities and our nations under this agreement," Jackson added.


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