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FTA talks with Canada next year; GCC wants trade pact with India: Piyush Goyal

The Economic Times | 17 December 2021

FTA talks with Canada next year; GCC wants trade pact with India: Piyush Goyal

By Kirtika Suneja

Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said that India will launch talks for a free trade agreement with Canada next March or April and that all countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council have approached New Delhi to begin negotiations on behalf of the grouping.

At the 94th Annual Convention of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), he also said that India’s services exports are likely to grow at a fast pace this year.

“Now all the GCC countries have approached us to start negotiations on behalf of the entire GCC grouping, opportunities will come in a big way. We will have to be more ambitious. We’ll have to look at grasping these opportunities,” Goyal said.

Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE are part of the GCC.

He said work is happening on almost six FTAs and one or two more could be added in the next few days.

Goyal said that India is looking at new ideas along with the FTA with the UAE and the country is simultaneously in discussion for an FTA with Australia and at an advanced stage of talks with the UK, which could possibly be launched next month.

“Canada (FTA) will be launched by about March or April. The EU has already been launched. We’ll start getting down onto the drawing board now. We’ve launched with Israel, a lot of things are happening,” he said.

On textiles, he said there is a trillion dollar opportunity waiting for India in the world market and the potential in technical textiles and man made Xbre is “tremendous”.

“Almost two thirds of that market is in those sectors. It’s the largest job creating sector in Indian textiles after farming,” he said.

Goyal said that the government has either reduced or totally eliminated 22,000 compliances in less than a year.

 source: The Economic Times