Anupriya Patel said, that India is expecting to conclude free trade agreements with the UK, Canada, and the European Union before this year-end. Minister of State in Commerce and Industry said the country’s trade was ‘passing through a watershed moment’ as it clocked USD 675 billion in exports while merchandise exports accounted for USD419 billion last year.
The ministry is also in the process of negotiations on signing free trade agreements with the UK, Canada, and Russia. They may be concluded before the end of the year,’ she said. Patel was talking at the Stakeholder’s Outreach Programme organized by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade on the occasion of India signing a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the United Arab Emirates and the Economic Cooperation Trade Agreement (ECTA) and Australia. Nothing that exports are vital for the growth of a country, she said India concluded the agreement with Australia in just 88 days and it was one of the faster-ever agreements signed. “It is a very comprehensive agreement,’ she said. She pointed out that the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was already “operationalized” and there was a huge scope in terms of employment generation.
“Besides employment generation, these agreements will also lead to an increase in remittances following the increase in the Indian diaspora (in the two countries),’ she said.