“There is a lot of focus on keeping agreements from being delayed by bureaucracy. The PMO directly oversees the work.
New Delhi: By early this year, India and the UK could reach a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA). If done, it would be his first FTA in India with a member of the G-7 club.
Official sources told the Sunday Guardian that six talks have already been completed between the two, with the last meeting taking place on December 16, and a seventh meeting scheduled for earlier this year. said that “minor” details will be worked out. In the final round of discussion, officials covered 11 policy areas in his 28 separate sessions.
These FTAs and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) are directly overseen at the level of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and are working hard to achieve India’s goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025. It is working. Focus on keeping agreements on track for bureaucratic red tape. The prime minister’s staff are personally monitoring the work,” an official source told the Sunday Guardian.
In early June, India and the European Union (EU) resumed FTA talks for the first time in eight years. Trade Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday that he expects an FTA with the EU to be completed by the end of 2023. This was also said by Sweden’s Foreign Minister Johann Forssel after Sweden took over the presidency of her group of 27 countries. this month.
A Commerce Department official told the Sunday Guardian that a similar FTA with Canada is also expected to be finalized by the middle of this year, and that five rounds of talks on the issue have already taken place. The FTA between India and Australia, signed in April, entered into force on 29 December and aims to provide duty-free access for Indian exporters, thus reducing bilateral trade in about five years. It could double from $45 billion to $50 billion. We serve a wide range of over 6,000 sectors including textiles, leather, furniture, jewelery and machinery for the Australian market.
In May of this year, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) entered into force between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is important to note that the UAE is now India’s third largest trading partner with bilateral trade value of her US$59 billion in 2019-20. The United Arab Emirates is also her second largest export destination in India with her 2020 export value of around US$29 billion from 2019. The United Arab Emirates is also her eighth largest investor in India, with an estimated investment of $18 billion for her, while India’s investment in the United Arab Emirates is estimated at around $85 billion. . CEPA is expected to increase bilateral trade in goods to $100 billion and trade in services to $15 billion within five years of signing.
CEPA is more comprehensive than FTA compared to FTA. Traditional FTAs are primarily focused on commodities. CEPA is more ambitious in that it comprehensively covers many areas such as services, investment, IPR, government procurement and disputes.
Goyal’s Ministry of Commerce has revived FTA talks with India’s largest trading partner, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Earlier, consultations held in 2006 and 2008 failed to reach mutual agreement. These negotiations are in the early stages, but with Goyal pushing them forward, the authorities are working to reach an agreement by the end of this year.
The GCC, a coalition of six Gulf states including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain, will account for $154 billion in bilateral goods trade in 2021-22. It is India’s largest trading partner. and services transaction value of $14 billion.
Last February, India and Mauritius signed CEPA. This is the first trade deal India has signed with an African country. Her CEPA mentioned above went into effect on April 1, 2021. Earlier this year, Goyal said India would review an “expired” FTA signed with Japan in August 2011 because of trade imbalances. Recently, while answering questions about his FTA with New Zealand, Goyal said India currently does not have the bandwidth to deal with “smaller” trading partners.
Importantly, when India pulled out of the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in November 2020, it was described by global watchers as a “disastrous” step. Two years after her, India signed bilateral agreements with 13 of her RCEP’s 15 countries. The only countries India does not have agreements with are China and New Zealand. Contrary to some media reports, the official said India is not “craving” an FTA with the United States. “Our mission is to engage on an equal footing and ensure that both trading blocs walk away from the discussion with satisfaction. As far as an FTA with the United States is concerned, the problem is that it does not address the trade imbalance that arises mainly in its current form.They have domestic reasons. We also need to understand that we need to have good trade relationships with us in order to counter the threat,” an official who was not authorized to speak to the media told the Sunday Guardian.