Apr 09

Fifth, it is essential for India to carefully select its new free trade partners. While the focus should be on countries with greater trade complementarity, making the EU, the UK and the US natural allies, it must be kept in mind that these countries are tough negotiators. The India-EU free trade agreement has been on hold since 2007, as there is no consensus on sectors such as automotive, alcoholic beverages, dairy and fishing services, RRI and fashion 1 (ITES/BPO) and fashion 3 (specialist professionals). While Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal hopes for a limited trade agreement with the United States after the U.S. presidential election, a full-fledged free trade agreement with the United States is a remote possibility if conflicts such as pharma, data security and agriculture are not sorted. However, increased cooperation in new areas such as artificial intelligence, green technology, digital and medical equipment should lead to a more balanced outcome. As you know, the United States is a difficult negotiator, as we have seen recently. It should be noted that India forged major free trade alliances with Asian countries (ASEAN, Japan and Korea) around the 10th G.A. Despite this, the share of these markets in Indian exports has declined over the past ten years, from 51% to 46%. While over the same period, the share of our exports from traditional markets such as the United States and Europe increased from 38% to 43% when it did not have a free trade agreement with any of the countries in the region. British Trade Minister Liz Truss and Indian Minister of Railways and Trade and Industry Piyush Goyal agreed to explore opportunities to develop and deepen our trade relations.

These include a strengthened trade partnership, which is a first step towards a broader roadmap for a deeper trade partnership, and could lead to a future free trade agreement, subject to progress. Piyush Goyal said India was open to those locked up with the UK for a preferential trade deal with the ultimate goal of a free trade agreement. Third, after the revision, the global trade order will most likely be influenced by geopolitical decisions. Many countries are now cautious about China and can strategically orient themselves to other trading partners for imports.

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