The free trade deal agreement talks between India and Australia came to a stop in 2015 as both parties could not reach a mutually beneficial agreement. But a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) , a multi country negotiations forum was used by Australia to keep India interested in the trade pact.
There is renewed interest in starting the free trade talks with India, as Australia is keen to shift its all weather dependence on China for trade partnership. The free trade pact with India will focus on Education as the flagship sector and three lead sectors which are agribusiness, tourism and resources. There are six other emerging sectors of interest and include energy, health, financial services, infrastructure, sport and science.
India left the RCEP negotiations in 2019, but the recent elevation in comprehensive strategic partnership with Australia followed similar concerns by both countries about the unilateral dominance of China in the region. This initiative also paved the way for renewed interest in restarting the free trade talks with India for Dan Tehan, the Australian Federal Minister for trade.