Free trade agreements are currently being negotiated with the United Kingdom, the European Union and Canada

Free trade agreements are currently being negotiated with the United Kingdom, the European Union and Canada

Union Minister Anupriya Patel said on Tuesday that India expects to complete free trade deals with the United Kingdom, Canada, and the European Union before the end of the year. The country’s commerce, according to the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, is “passing through a watershed moment,” with exports totaling USD 675 billion and product exports at USD 419 billion last year.

Noting that exports are vital for the growth of a country, she said India concluded the agreement with Australia in just 88 days and it was one of the fastest-ever agreement signed. ”It is a very comprehensive agreement,” she said.

”We (The Ministry) are also in process of negotiations on the signing of free trade agreements with the United Kingdom, Canada, and Russia and they may be concluded before the end of the year,” she said. Patel was speaking at the Stakeholder’s Outreach Programme organised by Directorate General of Foreign Trade on the occasion of India signing a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the United Arab Emirates and the Economic Cooperation Trade Agreement (ECTA) with Australia.

She pointed out that the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was already ”operationalised” and there was huge scope in terms of employment generation. ”Besides employment generation, these agreements will also lead to increase in remittances following the increase in the Indian diaspora (in the two countries),” she said.

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