Minister Goyal discusses the plethora of chances for India with FTAs, owing to the country's enormous potential.
“It is our belief at the 184-year-old Times Group that together we can embrace every crisis as an opportunity to craft a different and better future.” with this iconic statement, Mr. Vineet Jain Managing Director, BCCL launched the seventh edition of the Global Business Summit. The summit which is South Asia’s premier meeting place for thought leaders, set off with the opening keynote address by Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal.
Here are some of the excerpts from his address:
India has emerged stronger and self-confident
In terms of a resurgence, Minister Goyal stated that, in the backdrop of the recent elections across the country, the country’s strong fundamentals in the economy have resulted in the largest ever FDI, which has continued to break records year after year. This year, merchandise exports are expected to surpass $400 billion.
“We are over $375 billion already. Until recently, we never looked at our service exports, giving such a major jump. But I’ve had to reset my target twice already on service exports. And without travel, tourism, hospitality, we are slated to touch nearly $250 billion in the current year. Moody’s recently gave us a rating upgrade…
Our GST collections have been robust all through the last few months, despite the third wave of the COVID pandemic, and our startup ecosystem continues to grow by leads and bounds.
At this crucial juncture of our economic history, a self-confident, a self-reliant India is emerging. We wish to expand our engagement with the rest of the world. We wish to do it from a position of strength after almost a decade.”
Regarding FTAs impacting sectors
The new comprehensive trade agreement with the United Arab Emirates has increased bilateral commerce by roughly $60 billion, with the minister hoping to increase it to at least $100 billion in the next five years.
“Personally, I look at $150 billion trade with the UAE at the end of five years from now…. With the UAE trade deal, we have set a new benchmark for the world to emulate. We made history by delivering the fastest negotiated free trade agreement and in this world of greater trade engagements, greater business amongst countries. I think we are slated to do many more free trade agreements in the months and years to come.”
[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]“We are negotiating newer comprehensive economic partnerships and hope to have an enhanced partnership with Australia and Canada. We have already launched negotiations with the United Kingdom. In fact, as we speak, the second round of negotiations are underway in London. Similarly, we have FTA with the European Union and Israel under discussion, and we also hope to launch with the GCC countries in the very near future.”[/box]
He continued to explain that the government is also looking at reviewing some of the existing free trade agreements or comprehensive economic partnerships with existing arrangements as some of these FTAs have become skewed and may not be necessarily serving the original purpose they were intended for.
Inviting the world to Invest in India
Minister Goyal ended his speech around the Amrit Kal for India, proclaiming that this is a ‘golden period’ for the nation
“We have throughout our negotiations focused on labor intensive areas, particularly textiles, leather, and pharmaceuticals. And I do believe all these sectors will significantly add to economic activity in India…
We are looking to diversify our export market both in terms of products and destinations. Currently, nearly 40% of our exports are focused on seven destinations. Seven countries in today’s world. A greater spread of our export products to different destinations will both help create a natural hedge and will also help expand our exports. In conclusion, India at 75 offers a beacon of hope for the world.
Guided by ancient wisdom and energized by the power of our youth, the power of India democracy, the demographic dividend strong and decisive leadership, huge opportunities with a billion plus people aspiring for a better quality of life and the inbuilt talent of skilled youth.”