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India prioritises equitable trade deals over FTA signings, says commerce minister

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Piyush Goyal
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Piyush Goyal

New Delhi: India's Commerce Minister, Piyush Goyal, said that India will not hasten the signing of free trade agreements (FTAs) unless they ensure equitable and fair terms.

He stated, "We should never rush trade negotiations; they are going to impact the country for years and years to come."

The minister's remarks came during an event organised by an independent think tank.

Goyal was responding to inquiries about India's trade negotiations with the UK and the European Union (EU), acknowledging that they have become more intricate.

Negotiations between India and the UK were anticipated to conclude a free trade deal around late 2022, but no firm deadline has been set. Similarly, talks between India and the EU were reignited in 2022 after a nine-year hiatus due to differences over expectations from the deal.

A prospective deal between India and the UK holds significance for New Delhi, aspiring to enhance its export capabilities, while the UK aims for broader access for its whisky, premium cars, and legal services.

The renewed negotiations between India and the EU in 2022 aim to establish a free trade agreement that acts as a counterbalance to China's growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

Addressing the EU's carbon border adjustment tax, Goyal affirmed that India would strongly raise the matter within the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and address it bilaterally. India intends to lodge a protest against the EU's proposed carbon tax on imports of steel, iron ore, and cement at the upcoming WTO meeting in Abu Dhabi from February 26 to 29.

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TAGS:Piyush GoyalFree Trade AgreementFTAIndia UK Trade
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