RE-ENGAGEMENTS TO BEGIN FOR INDO-EU FTA SHORTLY, SAYS COMMERCE SECRETARY AT PHD CHAMBER

RE-ENGAGEMENTS TO BEGIN FOR INDO-EU FTA SHORTLY, SAYS COMMERCE SECRETARY AT PHD CHAMBER

RE-ENGAGEMENTS TO BEGIN FOR INDO-EU FTA SHORTLY, SAYS COMMERCE SECRETARY AT PHD CHAMBER

No.PR-33

May 30, 2018

New Delhi

 

RE-ENGAGEMENTS TO BEGIN FOR INDO-EU FTA SHORTLY, SAYS COMMERCE SECRETARY AT PHD CHAMBER

Commerce Secretary, Ms. Rita Teaotia on Wednesday disclosed that re-engagements between India and EU would recommence shortly to further negotiate the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) within the two.

 

Addressing a Programme on  India’s Free Trade Agreements: Dynamics and Diagnostics of Trade Prospects under aegis of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here today, Ms. Teaotia informed that in the past a great deal of stock taking had already happened  between the India and EU and several issues relating to proposed FTA were addressed to get a fair stock taking exercise needed.

In this direction, both India and EU are progressing and possibilities for re-engagements towards effecting Indo EU FTA have strengthened and necessary preparations are on, pointed out the Commerce Secretary without indicating a firm timetable for it.

According to her, FTAs are significant for enhancement of external trade between strategic partners and since their sometimes emerge distortions in FTAs, these should not be regarded as a single tool for enhancement of India’s trade basket both imports and exports and thus focus should also be laid on multilateral channels so that trade particularly external flourishes according to the potential of the stakeholders concerned.

 

Elaborating on FTAs particularly signed post-2010 like India-ASEAN FTA, India – Japan CEPA and India – South Korea CEPA, the Commerce Secretary felt that  their utilization factor has increased to benefit the nationalities concerned and therefore, not only the exports witnessed significant growth but imports as well.

 

Answering a query on China whether it is a trade partner to India or its competitor, Ms. Teaotia was of the view that despite China’s low tariffs on many front and India’s higher tariff on certain sector, somehow Indian products particularly in the pharmaceuticals segments among others are finding it difficult to access the Chinese market whereas India provides much easier market access to Chinese products.  This distortion needs correction, she felt.

On India’s export performance, the Commerce Secretary though expressed satisfaction that India has been doing fairly well on its external front but to further strength its export position in the world, India needs to enhance its cost competitiveness both on scale and pricing and also requires a deeper understanding of regulatory frameworks of its strategic and exporting partners.

 

In his welcome address, President, PHD Chamber, Mr. Anil Khaitan pointed out that higher tariffs only protect the domestic industry and sought that FTAs signing should precede with comprehensive homework so that they lead to a logical conclusion.

 

Among others who were present on the occasion comprised Vice President, PHD Chamber, Mr. D K Aggarwal; Chair Professor for Policy & WTO Research Programme at ICRIER, Prof. Anwarul Hoda; Head and Professor, Centre for Regional Trade, Dr. Ram Upendra Das; Co-Chairmen, Foreign Trade & Investment Committee, PHD Chamber, Mr. Sanjay Beswal and Mr. G S Singhvi; Secretary General, PHD Chamber, Mr. Saurabh Sanyal along its Chief Economist, Dr. S P Sharma.

Ends.

Koteshwar Prasad Dobhal

Consultant (PR)