«It is expected that long-standing negotiations on a free trade agreement with Australia can be completed by 2022 and an agreement can be signed after that,» he said. Australia and India started negotiations on an ECSC in May 2011, but talks were suspended in September 2015 after nine rounds due to differences on some multilateral issues. Negotiations with the United Arab Emirates are on the fast track. The first round of talks took place on 23 and 24 September in New Delhi during the visit of the UAE Minister of State for Trade, Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi. «The goal is to sign an official CEPA in March 2022,» one person said. India hopes to restart negotiations on a free trade agreement with the UK after Brexit in January. Trade Minister Piyush Goyal said New Delhi hopes to conclude a free trade agreement with the UAE in early 2022. Earlier this year, India and the European Union decided to resume stalled negotiations on a comprehensive trade and investment agreement. Meanwhile, India has also begun talks with Canada on a free trade agreement and plans to conclude one with the Gulf Cooperation Council, a six-member group made up of Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. The talks with Australia reflect a broader urgency that many experts say has so far failed the Indian government when it comes to agreeing to free trade agreements and a more open global trade regime. There is no trade agreement between India and the United States. In April 2018, the United States initiated a review of the eligibility of India`s compliance with the Market Access criteria of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and in March 2019 decided that India no longer met the criteria, thereby withdrawing India`s GSP status.
The repeal of GSP benefits eliminated special tariff treatment for $5.6 billion of Indian exports to the United States in India`s export-oriented sectors such as pharmaceuticals, textiles, agricultural products and auto parts. The United States and India are continuing their discussions on trade issues. India has set an ambitious export target of $450 billion to $500 billion by the next fiscal year, and early harvest activities, as well as comprehensive free trade agreements, will play an important role in achieving this goal, the first person said. In addition to the three most promising free trade agreements, New Delhi is negotiating trade agreements with other countries and blocs. These include Oman, Canada, the European Union, Russia and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), which includes Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. Of course, free trade agreements are not necessarily a solution to a country`s trade imbalance. Previous free trade agreements with countries like Japan and Malaysia focused more on goods than services, which are India`s strength, said Debashis Chakraborty, an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade in Calcutta. Business Standard has always strived to provide up-to-date information and feedback on developments that are of interest to you and that have far-reaching political and economic implications for the country and the world.
Your constant encouragement and feedback on how we can improve our offering has only strengthened our determination and commitment to these ideals. Even in these challenging times stemming from Covid-19, we remain committed to keeping you informed with credible news, authoritative views and concise comments on relevant current issues. However, we have a request. As we struggle with the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more so that we can continue to provide you with better quality content. Our subscription model has received an encouraging response from many of you who have subscribed to our online content. More subscriptions to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of providing you with even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practice the journalism we are committed to. Support quality journalism and subscribe to the Business Standard. Digital Editor India has shown little enthusiasm for free trade agreements since Prime Minister Modi took office, but as trade imbalances increase, his government appears to be changing course. We are just scratching the surface with a country like India. India is the world`s fifth largest economy, emerging global economic superpower, we are expected to commit to more than £24 billion in bilateral trade, he said.
«Free trade agreements are clearly a very important part of global trade, but care must be taken not to reduce tariffs too much on the import of foreign products,» TP Sreenivasan, India`s former permanent representative to the United Nations, told Al Jazeera. «Because you can be inundated with their products and it hurts the domestic industry.» The agreement is expected to increase bilateral trade in goods to $100 billion and services to $15 billion within five years. The UAE was India`s third-largest trading partner with bilateral trade of around $59.1 billion in 2019-2020, a largely non-Covid period. At the meetings, Goyal also reaffirmed India`s position for the upcoming Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC12) of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, in November. Goyal said the multilateral trade agreement must be «fair and just» and that «historical injustices against developing countries must be corrected» rather than transferred, the official quoted above said. The only free trade agreement India has signed in the past seven years was with the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2015 – and the two sides had already completed most of the preparatory work before Modi took office. In November 2019, India left the Negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), leaving the signature without New Delhi to a collective of the 10 ASEAN countries of China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. RCEP is the world`s largest trade agreement and comes into force in January. India is expected to become the world`s third largest economy by 2050, and a trade deal will open up huge opportunities for British companies to trade with India`s £2 trillion economy, the spokesman said. India and Australia began talks on a free trade agreement in 2011. A decade later, without this agreement, India remains a net importer of Australia. With the United Arab Emirates, things got worse.
India was a net exporter until 2019-2020 – now it imports more than it sells to the Middle Eastern country. This growing gap between exports and imports seems to have prompted the government to rethink its approach, analysts say. But staying out of free trade agreements is not the solution either, he warned. Take RCEP. «Joining this deal would have given India the chance to play at the high table and set the rules for the region,» Chakraborty told Al Jazeera. «If we join 10 years later, we won`t be able to dictate the terms. We will have to accept what has already been decided. India will conclude three major trade agreements with the UAE, the UK and Australia by 2022 and is on the verge of signing trade agreements separately with the three countries, three people with knowledge of the development said. «Both sides take seriously the negotiations and conclusion of CEPA in accordance with the determination of the leaders of the two countries,» a second person added.
«The two sides are closely linked and are working towards the conclusion of this agreement, which will complement the strategic partnership between India and the UAE. He also pointed to a senior source in the Department for International Trade (DIT) who said the momentum of the UK-India trade deal had slowed and a quick deal was unlikely to be reached. Last week, the president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Lord Karan Bilimoria, indicated that talks would begin shortly. The London-based entrepreneur and founding chairman of the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) highlighted areas of focus of the free trade agreement, in which the CBI will be involved as industry representative for more than 190,000 UK companies. A compilation of trade agreements that India has already signed or participated in the negotiations is listed below – At a mid-term review meeting of the Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) on Saturday, Goyal asked the bodies to address trade-related concerns in these countries so that the government can address them when negotiating individual free trade agreements….