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September 22, 2023


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‘Several deals were struck in past, but…’: Piyush Goyal over US, UK deals at stalemate

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Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday said the Narendra Modi-led BJP government doesn’t sign Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) just for the sake of it. “In the past several deals were struck, but not keeping India’s interest in mind,” the minister said.

While speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2022, Goyal said, “India’s interests are weighed upon. We analyse whether it is fair and equitable.”

The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, said, “We deal from a position of strength – which we have – but with decency.”

Goyal added, “Under previous governments, India signed unfair trade deals. Don’t know if the decision was taken by someone at highest levels within the government or outside it.”

Speaking about India’s international engagements, Goyal said, “There’s never an element of arrogance in India’s international engagements. We deal from a position of strength, but with complete decency.”

Goyal also spoke about India’s decision to walk out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

According to reports, British officials may visit India next month with the aim of concluding talks on FTA between the two countries in about four months.

A trade agreement between India and Britain that aims to double bilateral trade by 2030 could not be done by late October, the initial target for concluding the talks.

India’s trade ministry and Britain will soon finalise if December’s talks will be at a ministerial level or the secretary level, reported Reuters.

Last month, UK’s new prime minister Rishi Sunak, the country’s first leader of Indian descent, conveyed his hope to finalise the trade agreement during a call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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