Govt to go easy on more FTAs

Govt to go easy on more FTAs

The government will examine existing trade agreements with foreign countries before entering into new ones. The move comes after the FTAs signed with many countries have shown a declining trend.

 “We did enter into FTAs (Foreign Trade Agreements) and PTAs (Preferential Trade Agreements) with many countries. But again whether these FTAs and PTAs have really delivered is something that we need to very closely look at, which the government intends to do,” Minister of State for Commerce and Industry D Purandeswari said here.

“We need to get our own house in order before we actually partner with other countries,” Purandeswari said.

 Like many experts, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations had said earlier that free trade agreements and comprehensive economic partnership agreements have facilitated more imports than exports from India. Exports to several countries with which India has signed FTAs have shown a decline.

FIEO had also underlined the need to revisit strategies with countries where FTAs and like agreements have been signed.

India has so far implemented free trade pacts with Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Malaysia and negotiating similar pacts with some other countries including Australia, Canada, the European Union and New Zealand.

India’s imports from Japan, with which it implemented a comprehensive free trade agreement in 2011, increased by over 3 per cent to $12.5 billion during the last fiscal but exports declined to $6.26 billion in the same period.

Similarly, India’s imports from Malaysia grew by 9 per cent to $10.43 billion in 2012-13, from $9.55 billion during the earlier fiscal.

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