“As of June 2016, all WTO members have at least one RTA (Regional Trade Agreement) in force. The number of trade agreements has increased significantly, with 355 notifications of RTAs to the WTO. (as of 1 December 2022) Many WTO members continue to be involved in negotiations to create new RTAs that are primarily bilateral, but recent developments have led to two or more Negotiations and new agreements between WTO members,” said Survey.
According to the same survey, limited progress in multilateral trade negotiations in the WTO is one of the reasons for the increase in FTAs. FTAs are viewed favorably by trading countries because they are easier to negotiate and offer flexibility to factor in geopolitical considerations compared to multilateral negotiations in the WTO forum.
Regional trade agreements help countries reduce tariffs on goods and services and enhance cooperation between trading partners. The study points to lower prices for consumers and greater export opportunities for producers. “RTAs can also have a big impact on the economy.”
Research shows that FTAs can create an environment that enhances trade, but the growth of a country’s trade depends on many factors.
India has so far signed 13 FTAs and 6 Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs). The latest on the list are the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which was signed on 18 February 2022 and formally entered into force on 1 May 2022, and the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement ( Ind-Aus ECTA). , was signed on 2 April 2022 and entered into force on 29 December 2022.
Furthermore, India is currently engaged in FTA negotiations with some of its trading partners, and among these FTAs notable are: (i) India-UK FTA; (ii) India-Canada CEPA; /Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA), (iii) India. -EU FTA.