Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said the talks for a free-trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union will begin from June 17 at Brussels and the negotiations are progressing for such agreements with the United Kingdom and Canada. He was speaking at an event organised on Monday by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) in Kerala.
India-EU FTA negotiations were stalled after 16 rounds of talks during 2007-2013. The EU sought duty concessions on automobiles, alcoholic beverages and dairy products, while India’s insisted on greater access to the EU market for its skilled professionals.
Exports to EU countries accounted for about 15.1 per cent of India’s total exports, while imports accounted for about 8.4 per cent of imports in the April 2021-January 2022 period. Bilateral trade in services between India and the EU was EUR 32.7 billion in 2020 with India exporting services worth EUR 17.3 billion and importing services worth EUR 13.1 billion.
India is also having a discussion on trade pacts with several countries, including UK. In April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his UK counterpart Boris Johnson also discussed trade, climate and energy during the latter’s two-day visit to India. On the India-UK free-trade agreement (FTA), Johnson said, “We are telling our negotiators to get it (FTA) done by Diwali.”
According to official data, the bilateral trade in goods between India and the UK stood at USD 16 billion in 2021-22 as compared with USD 13.11 billion in 2020-21, a jump of 22.17 per cent. Exports worth USD 9.43 billion were shipped in 2021-22, while imports worth USD 6.59 billion were received in the same year. This gives a trade balance of USD 2.84 billion in the financial year 2021-22.
The trade between the two countries had stood at USD 15.45 billion in 2019-20, USD 16.87 billion in 2018-19, and USD 14.49 billion in 2017-18.
The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between India and the UAE has also come into effect on May 1. The CEPA is likely to boost trade between India and the UAE from $60 billion to $100 billion in the next five years, India’s Ambassador to the UAE Sunjay Sudhir has said.
India and Australia also signed a landmark free-trade agreement, the economic cooperation and trade agreement, in April. This was India’s second such trade agreement in 2022 after inking a similar deal with the UAE in February.
The free-trade deal is expected to increase trade between the two sides to $45-50 billion in the next five years, compared with the current estimate of $27 billion. It will also crease more than 10 lakh job opportunities.
Under this agreement, tariffs will be eliminated on more than 85 per cent of Australian goods exports to India (valued at more than $12.6 billion a year), including coal, sheep meat and wool.
Read all the Latest News , Breaking News and IPL 2022 Live Updates here.