Talks on free trade agreement with U. K. moving at faster pace: Piyush Goyal

India has signed a trade pact with the UAE in a “record” time and “now our talks with the U. K. is moving at a faster pace”, Piyush Goyal said.

India has signed a trade pact with the UAE in a “record” time and “now our talks with the U. K. is moving at a faster pace”, Piyush Goyal said.

Negotiations for the proposed free trade agreement between India and the U. K. is progressing at a faster pace, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on August 9. The agreement is aimed at boosting bilateral trade and investments between the two countries.

India has signed a trade pact with the UAE in a “record” time and “now our talks with the U. K. is moving at a faster pace”, Mr. Goyal said.

In such pacts, two or more countries significantly reduce or eliminate customs duties on maximum number of goods traded between them. Besides, they ease norms for promoting trade in goods and investments. In January, India and the U. K. formally launched talks for a free trade agreement. They have set the deadline for concluding talks by Deepavali.

India is also negotiating similar pacts with Canada, European Union (EU) and Israel, he said, adding that several other nations have shown keen interest in negotiating trade agreements with India.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) want to negotiate these pacts, he said.

However, he added that the Commerce Ministry does not have enough resources to simultaneously negotiate free trade pact with more nations.

GCC is a union of six countries in the Gulf region, namely, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. EFTA members are Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Five-nation EAEU comprises Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The Minister was speaking at Vyapari Udyami Sammelan in New Delhi.

He asked the domestic traders body to focus on quality of products and work in a unity. Mr. Goyal informed that the government is taking steps to reduce compliance burden. About 30,000 rules have either simplified or removed to ease compliance burden.

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