CANBERRA, Aug 24 (PTI): Taking forward their growing economic ties, Australia and India are close to completing a feasibility study to establish a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in a wide range of areas, an Australian official said on Monday.
The feasibility study for the FTA commenced early last year and is about to be completed soon, the official told a group of visiting journalists from India.
"We are keen to finalise the feasibility study. It is quite close," he said.
India is the fifth largest market for Australia. The amount of exports from Australia is to the tune of 19 billion Australian dollars, the official said.
The export of cooking coal alone fetches 5 billion Australian dollars a year to the country's economy.
The FTA will cover a wide range of areas as Australia has huge natural resources.
"After the feasibility study both the countries will finalise the areas which will come under FTA", he said.
Australian oil and gas company ExxonMobil has signed a contract with Petronet of India to supply Liquefied Natural Gas by 2014. The agreement was signed on August 10.
Asked whether Australia would export uranium to India, the official said his government position has been that uranium would not be exported to any non-NPT country. Since India is a non-NPT signatory country, Australia could not export uranium to it.