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Home / Business / India to have free trade agreement with UAE in next 100 days

India to have free trade agreement with UAE in next 100 days

A working group has been set up to work out an FTA with the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council as a group, commerce minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday
Piyush Goyal.

Our Special Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 17.11.21, 01:42 AM

The country plans to have a free trade agreement with the United Arab Emirates in the next 100 days and a working group has been set up to work out an FTA with the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as a group, Union commerce minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday.

“We will have an FTA with the UAE in the next 60-100 days and an interim agreement with Australia probably around the same time. With the EU, work should start soon (as) they have recently appointed a lead negotiator and we are working to start with Canada,” he said at the CII’s National Conference on MNCs 2021.

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The UAE is the third largest trading partner of India despite a dip in both exports and imports in 2020-21 due to the pandemic. India’s exports to the UAE last fiscal were valued at $16.7 billion while imports from the country were at $26.6 billion.

The country is also among the top 10 investors into India with an estimated $11 billion of investments, more than half of which is in the form of FDI.

“We have launched (FTA talks) with Israel and have already set up a working group to work out with the six GCC nations as a group,” Goyal said.

The GCC, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, is of both economic and strategic interest to India as it has emerged as one of the largest trading partners. It has a substantial oil and gas reserve, which is also of great importance for the country’s energy needs. Moreover, it is a source of increased foreign investments into India.

Under an FTA, two trading partners reduce or eliminate customs duties on the maximum number of goods traded between them. Besides, they liberalise norms to enhance trade in services and boost investments. Goyal appealed to MNCs to use India as a manufacturing base as they can capture the world from India.

"Hope you continue to grow, acquire new businesses, recruit in India and bring international talent here," he said, adding that on the single window clearance platform, more states will come on board.

He said the country attracted "record" foreign direct investments in the last seven years and the trend is expected to continue in the coming years as well on account of major structural reforms being undertaken by the government.

He said India is focusing on integrating its quality standards with the world and the country needs to let go of the mindset of a particular product being for the domestic market and others for the export market.

"Last seven years, we have seen record FDIs (Foreign Direct Investments). I hope to see that continue, looking at major structural reforms being undertaken. This pick-up in economic activity is here to stay and the future looks to be extremely bright," he said.

FDI inflows into the country rose 62 per cent to $27 billion during the April-July period of the current fiscal.



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