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‘Several deals have been made in the past, but…’: Piyush Goyal on US, UK deals in stalemate

Union minister Piyush Goyal said on Saturday that the Narendra Modi-led BJP government will not sign free trade agreements (FTAs) just for the sake of it. “In the past, several deals have been made, but without keeping India’s interests in mind,” the minister said.

Speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2022, Goyal said: “India’s interests are weighed. We are analyzing whether it is fair and equitable.”

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, said: “We are acting from a strong position – which we have – but with decency.”

Goyal added: “Under previous governments, India signed unfair trade agreements. I don’t know if the decision was made by someone at the highest level within the government or outside it.”

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

Goyal also spoke about India’s decision to withdraw from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

British officials are reported to be able to visit India next month with the aim of concluding free trade agreement talks between the two countries in about four months.

A trade deal between India and Britain that aims to double bilateral trade by 2030 could not be finalized by the end of October, the original target for concluding the negotiations.

India’s Ministry of Commerce and Britain will soon be finalizing if talks take place at ministerial or secretary level in December Reuters.

Last month, during a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the UK’s new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, the country’s first leader of Indian descent, expressed his hopes to finalize the trade deal.

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