'India to keep engaging in trade agreements to boost commerce'

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 19, 2018

India will continue to engage in trade agreements with other countries to boost commerce. It is also committed to providing financial support to promote the country’s exports, Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia has said.

"The Centre will support through technology initiatives, an enabling environment as well as through financial support, exports from the country across the world," Teaotia said at a reverse buyer-seller meet organised by the Telecom Equipment & Services Export Promotion Council on Friday.

The Secretary added that the country would certainly keep engaging in trade agreements to give a fillip to trade and investments. New Delhi is, at present, engaged in a number of FTA negotiations, including one with the 16-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and is also planning to restart talks with the EU.

Indian industry has been making noises about some of the free trade agreements signed by India in the past such as ones with the ASEAN, Japan and South Korea, but nothing substantial has been put forward to show that the pacts have been detrimental for the country.

The Commerce Minister has agreed to review the pacts, although not too many changes are expected as the agreements have been sealed, but has said that in future the Ministry will be more careful while negotiating and would try to get a good deal in services as well.

On the 'Make in India' initiative, the Secretary said the government is focusing on boosting manufacturing, promoting research and development and setting high standards for products.

"The commitment of the government to promote quality products and to support exports is strong," she added.

India’s exports have suffered drastically over the past year with contracting world demand. Total exports in the period April-December 2015-16 declined 18.06 per cent to $196.60 billion compared to the same period in the previous fiscal.

Published on February 12, 2016

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