After eight years of negotiations, Canberra and New Delhi have not been able to settle the details of a free trade agreement. «India and Australia are ready to see if the work we have done bilaterally with regard to RCEP could be recorded between the two countries. We asked our officials to look at this,» Birmingham said in a selected media briefing after his meeting with Goyal. A notable exception to Australia-India relations has been a free trade agreement. Despite cordial relations between India and Australia, a promised free trade agreement seems unlikely, with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hinting after his visit to his counterpart Narendra Modi in 2017: «It could be that one draws the conclusion that the parties are too far apart to allow for an agreement at this stage.» India`s attempts to encourage foreign workers in Australia to relax the 457 visa may also have failed, as the government attempts to restrict, terminate and/or replace the visa category traditionally used by Indian computer scientists.  In the last round of negotiations, Australian agricultural exports were seen as a particular sticking point between the two countries, with the democratic calculation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) playing an important role in preventing an agreement. More than half of India`s employment is linked to agriculture, and although the sector is highly inefficient, both in production and distribution – leading to frequent price spikes such as those recently for onions – no political party is willing to open up the sector to increased competition or even reforms, although the long-term benefits were considerable. This political reality indicates that Australia is unlikely to achieve a favourable status for its agricultural products if negotiations resume. The news follows months of trade tensions between Australia and its largest trading partner, China. This has led many commentators to ask Australia to strengthen its trade partnerships with other nations in the region. . . .