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Piyush Goyal asserts that India will refrain from hastily entering into free trade agreements

Piyush Goyal asserts that India will refrain from hastily entering into free trade agreements

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal emphasized that India will adopt a cautious approach before committing to any free trade agreements (FTA), insisting on ensuring an equitable and fair balance in such deals. Speaking at an event organized by an independent think tank, Goyal underscored the long-term impact of trade negotiations on the country and urged against rushing into such agreements.Responding to inquiries about the complexities arising in India’s trade negotiations with the UK and the European Union (EU), Goyal highlighted the importance of a measured and thoughtful approach. While India and the UK initially anticipated concluding a free trade deal by late 2022, both parties have refrained from setting a deadline, acknowledging the intricacies involved.

The resumption of trade negotiations between India and the EU in 2022 follows a nine-year hiatus due to differences in expectations from the deal. Goyal noted the significance of a deal between India and the UK, with India aspiring to expand its exports and the UK seeking broader access for its products such as whisky, premium cars, and legal services.In the context of global geopolitical dynamics, Goyal mentioned that India and the EU’s renewed negotiations aim to establish a free trade agreement, serving as a counterbalance to China’s increasing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

Addressing the EU’s proposed carbon border adjustment tax, Goyal asserted that India will strongly raise the matter within the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). He also expressed the intent to handle the issue bilaterally. India plans to voice its protest against the EU’s proposed carbon tax on imports of steel, iron ore, and cement at the upcoming WTO meeting scheduled in Abu Dhabi from Feb. 26 to 29.

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