‘The Road To Atmanirbhar Bharat’ Webinar: Piyush Goyal On Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) And RCEP

by Swarajya Staff - Nov 29, 2020 03:58 PM
‘The Road To Atmanirbhar Bharat’ Webinar: Piyush Goyal On Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) And RCEPThe Road To Atmanirbhar Bharat

Delivering the inaugural address of the webinar series ‘The Road To Atmanirbhar Bharat' organised by Swarajya in association with Vedanta Resources Limited on Saturday (Nov 28), Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that free trade agreements are good for the nation and India must look to leverage these pacts with countries having transparent trading mechanisms and business systems.

Goyal said India should focus its energy on FTAs initially with developed countries that are looking for market access in the large Indian market and which can open their doors for domestic goods as well.

Goyal said India should focus its energy on FTAs initially with developed countries that are looking for market access in the large Indian market and which can open their doors for domestic goods as well.

"I believe, per se FTAs are not bad, FTAs are good for the nation and we must look to leverage FTAs with counties with whom you have transparent trading mechanisms, who are working with transparent business systems and with whom you (Indian industry) can engage from a position of strength for certain products where you are looking at market access in those countries," Goyal said.

"I think the countries with whom we have reciprocal and equitable relations are where we will focus our energies for future FTAs," Goyal added.

Goyal said that in free trade agreements (FTAs) with countries including Japan, Korea, and Asean, business communities of these regions benefited more by getting market access in India.

"...we could not benefit from corresponding market access in those countries," he said adding now the effort is to expand domestic manufacturing abilities and being more reciprocal in trade with other countries.

One of the primary reasons why India could not join RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) pact was that some of the members do not "really" have democratic transparent trading systems, the minister said.

"And when you are dealing with an unfair partner, a partner which does not really give a level playing field or reciprocal access or where there is a risk of predatory pricing , where there is a risk of circumvention of country of origin rules, one does have to be cautious," he added.

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