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Last updated: 26 Apr, 2022  

FTA.9.Thmb.jpg FTA prospects

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Bikky Khosla | 26 Apr, 2022

During his two-day visit to India last week, the British Prime Minister said that India and the UK may complete a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by Diwali in October. Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at over $16 billion during April-February 2021-22. Also, The UK is the sixth largest overseas investor with FDI inflows to India between 2000 and 2021 estimated at a little under $32 billion.

Meanwhile, according to recent reports, negotiations between India and Israel to explore the possibility of a FTA may also gain momentum soon, with negotiations witnessing rapid progress over the last six months. Similarly, last week India-Canada talks for a FTA resumed after a gap of almost 5 years, which could be concluded in 6-9 months. Also, India and the EU had restarted their FTA talks in early 2021 after a gap of 8 years.

Recently, India signed an Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement with Australia. Experts estimate that this trade pact, which is set to provide zero-duty access to 96 per cent of India’s exports to Australia, may boost bilateral trade in goods and services to $45-50 billion over 5 years. Similarly, the India-UAE trade pact signed in February is expected to boost annual bilateral trade to $100 billion within 5 years.

These developments are encouraging. During the last few years, India has emerged as one of the major global economic players, with exports from the country achieving the ambitious target of $400 billion for FY2022. It is now expected that FTAs with more countries will enhance the competitiveness of our exports sector further, cutting down trade barriers and also providing them a more level playing field with local businesses in developed economies.

I invite your opinions.

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