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India-Australia trade agreement will improve accessibility and affordability of cochlear implants, says GlobalData

Our Bureau, New Delhi
Thursday, July 14, 2022, 13:15 Hrs  [IST]

The recent Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AIECTA) is expected to increase the accessibility and affordability of Cochlear Ltd’s cochlear implants in India owing to gradual removal of tariffs on its hearing implants and accessories, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
A latest report by the company, on hearing implants market size, reveals that Cochlear Ltd accounted for approximately 50% of India’s cochlear implant market in 2021.
Chetna Kaushik, Medical Devices Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Despite increasing health spending, the high cost and limited awareness of cochlear implants always acted as restraints to their usage in India. The new trade deal is set to offer a solution to these limitations by reducing import tariffs on Cochlear Ltd’s implants by 7.5% to 15% followed by a gradual complete elimination of tariffs, improving the skill set of medical staff and by increasing awareness amongst people.”
With about 63 million people suffering from hearing impairment in India, the government aims to increase awareness, ensure timely diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss, and provide reimbursement for hearing implants by initiating programs such as the National Programme for the Prevention and Control of Deafness.
Kaushik added, “The Austrade deal combined with the government's efforts to improve patient outcomes will further help India in achieving its goal. On the other hand, with India already being one of the largest importers of Cochlear Ltd’s implants, the new trade deal is expected to further boost the sales of the company.”
The AIECTA, signed by the countries in April, 2022, is the first trade agreement of India with a developed country after more than a decade. The Agreement encompasses cooperation across the entire gamut of bilateral economic and commercial relations between the two friendly countries, and covers areas like Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Trade in Services, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, Dispute Settlement, Movement of Natural Persons, Telecom, Customs Procedures, Pharmaceutical products, and Cooperation in other Areas. Eight subject specific side letters covering various aspects of bilateral economic cooperation were also concluded as part of the Agreement.
Under the agreement, Australia has offered wide ranging commitments in around 135 sub sectors and Most Favoured Nation (MFN) in 120 sub sectors which cover key areas of India’s interest like IT, ITES, business services, health, education, and audio visual.


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