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What should India's FTA agenda be?

No country is better placed than India to take advantage of the China+1 strategy. But first industry must believe in itself, then trade can drive the future

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Free Trade Agreements | Commerce ministry | BS Opinion

Naushad Forbes 



Naushad Forbes

The world is full of regional trade agreements. India is no exception. Through 2012, India signed trade agreements with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Asean, Japan and South Korea. Across industry and government, a view emerged that (FTAs) had not served India well, and had even actively damaged Indian industry. This view was flawed, but it led to our withdrawal from a key agreement with much of Asia — the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RCEP — in 2019. After a long hiatus, we have returned to the FTA negotiating table. Agreements have been signed with the UAE and Australia, and negotiations are at various stages of conclusion with the UK, Canada and the EU.

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First Published: Wed, September 21 2022. 22:30 IST

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