The India-Australia FTA (known as the Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement or AICECA) negotiations began in 2012, were accelerated from 2014, and in August 2016 the Australian Government announced that they were on hold, as India focussed on the RCEP.
In November 2019, following both civil society and local business protests, India left the RCEP negotiations.
In June 2020 Indian and Australian leaders announced a Comprehensive strategic Partnership of cooperation on defence, security, maritime, economic, education, tourism and other issues. This is less legally binding and does not provide the same market access as an FTA. Further trade talks were held and the text of an interim legally binding trade agreement was signed and publicly released late on April 2, just before the election was announced. A Joint Standing Committee on Treaties inquiry was announced but has been suspended pending the election. See AFTINET’s initial media release which criticised the secrecy of the process and the lack of parliamentary scrutiny until after the election. AFTINET will make a full submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties inquiry when it resumes after the election.