Australia hopes India's Middle Class Will Offset China Trade Damage, says report

Nahrendra Modi Anthony Albanese Australian Indian Prime Minister

According to media reports, Australia is hoping that India's growing middle class will help offset the economic damage caused by Covid-19 and heavy restrictions imposed by its biggest trade partner, China.

With a middle-to-high income population of about 85 million people, according to Pew Research - roughly three times Australia's total population - it's seen as a prime target for sectors from education, to wine and tourism, all of which were hit badly by the pandemic and worsening relations with China, NDTV reported.

Bilateral trade is expected to more than double to around A$60 billion over the next five years, after a pact that cuts or eliminates tariffs on a number of goods and services, and gives greater recognition of professional qualifications, comes into place on Dec. 29.

While that's still just a sliver of Australia's two-way trade of A$280 billion with China, India's widely recognized as a huge piece of the country's diversification puzzle.

Australia's efforts are paying off, just as its relationship with China is also showing signs of thawing. Between April and October this year, India's imports of Australian goods climbed to US$12.3 billion, up 48% from a year ago. The mood is buoyant and Ajay Sahai, director general, Federation of Indian Export Organisations expects to see a further boost in coming years.

"Coal, copper, aluminium, cobalt we can see a sizable jump in all of this. Wine imports too would go up," Sahai said in an interview, referring to the potential benefits from the deal.

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