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Govt Reviewing Free-Trade Agreements with ASEAN, Korea: Union MoS Commerce – News18


India has signed 13 Free Trade Agreements and 6 Preferential Trade Agreements with its trading partners. (Representative image)

Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel says the government is negotiating FTAs with the EU, the UK, European Free Trade Association and Canada

The government is closely monitoring all the free-trade agreements that it has signed and based on stakeholder consultations, existing FTAs with ASEAN and Korea are being reviewed, Parliament was informed on Friday. In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel said the government is negotiating FTAs with the European Union, the UK, European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Canada.

These negotiations or its review are a long-drawn process and the timeline for completion of such negotiations cannot be predicted since the parties to the negotiations are required to agree to the outcome, she said. “India has signed 13 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and 6 Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) with its trading partners…The government is closely monitoring these FTAs and based on stakeholder consultations, the experience and assessments thereof, the government is in the process of reviewing its existing FTAs with ASEAN and Korea,” the minister said.

Replying to another question, she said the number of complaints referred/ received by the GeM (Government e-marketplace) vigilance unit during last year (July 2022 to June 2023) was 54. “The majority of complaints, received through post and e-mails, were by sellers against buyers. After examination at GeM end, GeM observations in these cases are being sent to the corresponding Chief Vigilance Officer/ Head of Department of the Buyer Organisation for further examination/ investigation and/ or action(s) as deemed fit at their end,” she said.

The India-UK trade deal: India has kept demands of Britain on data related issues and giving any kind of duty concessions on dairy sector out of the ambit of the proposed free-trade agreement being negotiated between the two countries, according to a PTI report recently.

However, India is looking at providing duty concessions on auto, and certain confectionery items. The negotiation for the agreement has reached a critical stage and in all likelihood it could be concluded by October end or November.

The talks received a great impetus due to the recent visit of Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal to London in July, where both held a series of meetings with different stakeholders including senior British officials.

(With Inputs From PTI)

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