AUSTRALIA LOOKING TO HELP INDIA SET UP WINE RESEARCH INSTITUTE
By Susan Lewis
Credit: David Mathews
Exchanges between the wine industries of Australia and India have accelerated since the signing of an interim free trade agreement (FTA) in April, the two sides are looking at establishing a research and training institute in India with the Australian Wine Research Institute offering their expertise on viticulture and wine-making.
According to Indian media reports, the project was being discussed in a virtual meeting attended by representatives of the Australian High Commission, Australian Grape and Wine, Wine Australia, Sula Vineyards, Fratelli Wines, Grover Zampa Vineyards, Good Drop Wines, and the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) held last month.
Indian wineries are working on adopting global best practices in vineyard management and wine making as the interim FTA opens up opportunities for Indian wine producers to export wines to Australia tariff-free.
The two sides also agreed to work together to help lower the cost of growing grapes in India, especially for farmers with small land holdings.
Indian winemakers had paid a visit to Australia to further engage with industry executives after last month’s virtual meeting.
“Though the FTA is yet to roll out, we are glad to push forward the spirit of engagement between the industries of Australia and India as envisaged by the FTA signed between the two nations, and the side letters exchanged between the ministers spearheading it," said Vinod Giri, Director General of CIABC.
As part of the interim FTA, Australia will allow tariff-free wine imports from India upon entry into force, expected within four months from the signing date.
In return, India committed to cut tariffs on Australian wine progressively. Tariffs on Australian wines with an import price of over USD5 per 750ml bottle will decrease to 100 percent upon entry into force, with a further phased reduction of 5 percent per year for 10 years down to 50 percent.
While tariffs on Australian wines with a value of over USD15 per 750ml bottle will decrease to 75 percent upon entry into force, with a further phased reduction of 5 percent per year for 10 years down to 25 percent.
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