Negotiations are underway with the UK, EU and Canada to sign the FTA: MoS

India is expected to sign free trade agreements with the United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union before the end of this year, Union Minister Anupriya Patel said here on Tuesday.

The state minister for trade and industry said the country’s trade was “going through a waterlogging moment” because it had USD 675 billion in exports and USD 419 billion last year.

“We (the ministry) are also in the process of negotiating free trade agreements with the United Kingdom, Canada and Russia, and they could be completed before the end of the year,” he said.

Patel was speaking at the Stakeholder Outreach Program organized by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade on the occasion of India’s signing of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the United Arab Emirates and Economic Cooperation Trade Agreement (ECTA) with Australia.

Noting that exports are vital to a country’s growth, he said India had concluded the agreement with Australia in just 88 days and it was one of the fastest agreements ever signed. “It’s a very comprehensive deal,” he said.

He noted that the Indo-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement has already been “operationalized” and has huge potential for job creation.

“In addition to job creation, these agreements will lead to an increase in remittances following the growth of Indian expatriates (in both countries),” he said.

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