Mumbai, (UNI): Union commerce minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday expressed confidence in entering into a partnership agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in 2022 itself saying that the India-UAE CEPA agreement has provided the base to fast track negotiations.
Speaking to media persons, Goyal said that India is also negotiating with Australia, the UK and Canada and is looking at entering into interim agreements with them soon. “The GCC Secretary had met me two months ago and they have expressed the desire to fast track the GCC negotiation.
Our team and GCC teams are working with each other. We will shortly finalize the terms of reference and scoping paper and we are confident that now that we have concluded this negotiation at such a fast speed (with UAE), we have self confidence in our ability and our teams’ ability to do negotiation in a rapid manner,” Goyal said.
He further said this CEPA agreement with UAE also provides a base since the Middle Eastern countries have many similarities. “So we are confident that within this 2022 itself, we will also be able to have a partnership agreement with the GCC countries,” Goyal added. The minister further said that India has already launched negotiations with Australia, the UK and Canada and hopes to enter into interim agreements with them soon.
“On Monday, we are going to discuss with Australia. We had negotiations with the UK earlier this month and in March we will have another round of discussions. We are trying to enter into interim agreements with these countries and expect to finalize them soon,” Goyal said.
He further said India will also launch negotiations with Canada for entering into an interim agreement whereby the low hanging fruits in which both the countries can get benefits can be tapped. Stating that India has already launched the free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU and is also in talks with Israel for FTA, Goyal said that developed economies are looking at India with renewed enthusiasm. “In the whole world, especially in developed economies, there is a lot of enthusiasm to work with India. And this enthusiasm rests on three pillars which are transparency, talent and trust.
When other countries look at the transparent and honest system that is currently prevalent in India and the ease of doing business which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has focused on in the last 8 years, they feel they can increase trade with India,” he said.
Goyal further said that the trust built by Modi by strengthening his relations with leaders of the other countries as well as by the Indian industry, and the skilled manpower available in India has been recognised by the world and so they want to trade with India.