India, EU committed to balanced and comprehensive trade agreement: Piyush Goyal
We shall strive for early conclusion of both agreements simultaneously, said the Commerce and Industry Minister
India and the European Union (EU) are committed to work towards a balanced, ambitious, comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreement, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said.
Addressing the closing session of CII: EU-India Business Roundtable on Saturday, Goyal welcomed the landmark announcement made by leaders of India and EU on the resumption of negotiations for bilateral Free Trade and Investment Agreements.
He hoped for an early conclusion of the trade agreement and an investment protection agreement on a parallel track.
The Indian Commerce and Industry Minister said that India and the European Union were committed to work towards a balanced, ambitious, comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreement and a separate investment protection agreement on a parallel track. "Together, we shall strive for early conclusion of both the agreements simultaneously," he remarked.
“Both these agreements are going to lift our economic relationship to another level with an enhanced bilateral flow of trade, investments, job creation, technology transfers and innovations. These will be separate agreements and negotiated in a parallel track. We are also committed to concluding them together at an early date,” stated the Minister.
Noting that India had received thebhighest ever Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in its history, despite COVID-19, even while investments worldwide fell down, he reasoned that investments are protected in India.
“We have a very strong judiciary and respect for rule of law, transparency in all decision making, political stability, IPR protection. There is no compulsion for any company to do technology transfer in India,” he explained.
“We are actively working towards improvement in our ease of doing business rankings, in our competitiveness, de-bureaucratising systems and making procedures simpler, opening up newer sectors for more FDI, strengthening regulatory practices,” the Minister of Commerce and Industry added.
As the world moves to realign from the over-concentrated and risky supply chain, all business friends can trust India to provide a multitude of Investment and manufacturing opportunities, Goyal assured.
Highlighting that India’s manpower skills and talent have contributed to businesses around the world, the Minister argued that India can become a natural manufacturing base to make the products from European innovation, competitive in the world.
“With the large Indian market of more than 1 billion people aspiring for a better quality of life and using economies of scale to expand the footprint of European goods in the world, this is a win-win partnership,” he said.
On the concept of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Goyal said that it does not mean being protectionist and closing our doors to the world.
On the contrary, India wishes to open its doors wider and warmly welcomes businesses from across the world to bring world class technologies to India, state-of-the-art products and services into India and investments in manufacturing, services & infrastructure, he clarified.
Earlier on Saturday, at the India-EU Leaders’ Summit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 27 leaders of EU agreed to resume negotiations for balanced and comprehensive free trade and investment agreements.
Negotiations on both the Trade and Investment Agreements that remained suspended since 2013 will be pursued on parallel tracks with an intention to achieve early conclusion of both of them.