Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday said talks for proposed free trade agreements (FTAs) with the UAE and Australia are “absolutely progressing” and officials from both sides have a deadline to conclude talks. are working on. Last month, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) formally began negotiations on the agreement, officially dubbed as the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The two sides have expressed their desire to reach a mutually beneficial economic agreement and aim to conclude negotiations by December 2021 and sign a formal agreement in March 2022.
India and Australia have also agreed to end a long-pending free trade agreement by the end of 2022 and an early crop trade agreement by early December. “We have started FTA talks with UAE on September 22 and with Australia on September 30. Both are progressing perfectly,” Goyal said at the India Today Conclave.
He also said that India is negotiating a similar agreement with the UK and that he will meet his British counterpart the day after tomorrow to discuss the deal. “Now we have to prepare for Indian industry as we are negotiating FTAs with different countries,” the minister said.
Asked about the timeline for concluding and signing these agreements, he said the UAE would be in the next 3-4 months and there would be an early harvest or an interim agreement with Australia outlining the big deal. “Both teams are working toward that deadline … so the mood is to really fast-track it,” he said.
When asked about the rules for the e-commerce sector and its plight, he said that this is a government which has not made a single retrospective amendment in its 7.5 years. “When it comes to e-commerce regulations, which are under consideration and there is a deliberation or FDI policy for consumer protection, there is no return on any policy. We are repeating what has been said many times. It should be fair game,” he said.
Asked about Tata Sons’ victory for the privatization of Air India, he said: “In my mind, the Maharaja is in safe hands and the time has come for India to regain its pride in the international aviation sector. “Tata Sons will take on Air India – the airline founded nearly 90 years ago – as the government accepts its winning bid of Rs 18,000 crore to acquire 100 per cent of the debt-ridden state-run carrier .