India to fast-track FTA talks with six countries

Thursday, 12 August 2021 10:39:35 (GMT+3)   |   Kolkata

Indian will fast track free trade agreements (FTAs) with five countries - the UAE, UK, Australia, Canada, and the EU - in line with its revamped foreign trade policy, a government official said on Thursday, August 12.

The official said that the earliest FTA to be inked is likely to be with the UAE.

“We have revamped our FTA strategy. India has to engage with the rest of the world. Without that, India will be shut out from global markets... The world has moved into bilateral or local or regional arrangements,” secretary to the Ministry of Commerce, B V R Subrahmanyam, said.

The move is significant against the background of India refusing last year to join the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which created the world’s largest trading bloc, on the plea that the partnership had not adequately addressed India’s concerns over market access to Chinese products.

“The fast tracking of the FTA talks will result in an agreement with the UAE first, while others will follow within the shortest possible timelines, the official said.

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