The Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) on Tuesday welcomed the ratification of the India-Australia FTA by the Australian Parliament.

In a statement, CIABC Director General Vinod Giri said, “The FTA is a win-win for both India and Australia. On one hand it would open up the Indian market for quality Australian wines, and on the other it would help Indian wine industry evolve further benefiting from the expertise and investment from their Australian counterparts.”

“Quality Australian wines will certainly benefit from easier market access to India and Indian wine industry will gain from the technical collaboration and potential investment coming from Australia. I am happy to add that the industries on both sides are full supportive of the FTA and even before the FTA is ratified, the two industries have already begun collaboration through Australia Grape & Wine and CIABC,” Giri said.

He said the FTA envisages a time-bound resolution of the Australian laws that, in Indian industry’s viewpoint, restrict the export of Indian liquor products to Australia.

“Currently Australian law requires a whisky to be matured for at least 2 years to be classified as whisky in Australia. This is superfluous for us as whisky matures at a much faster rate in the warm Indian climate. We are glad to note that the Agreement envisages setting up a joint working group of the two nations to review this and are optimistic of an early resolution since that would truly open up Australian market for Indian liquor,” Giri said.

He said the FTA, being the first with a developed nation, is historic and shows the self-confidence of the new India to take on global competition.

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“Indian alcobev industry is turning around. This FTA provides the template which will help India turn from being the world’s buyer to become the World’s supplier. We thank the Government of India and Hon’ble Minister Shri Piyush Goyal to provide this roadmap that will establish India as the producer and exporter of truly World class products in the alcobev sector,’’ Giri added.

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