India has a trade deficit of about USD 37 billion with the neighbouring country to overcome this and help boost Indiaâ€™s export; FIEO an apex exporterâ€™s body today put forward a proposal for a free agreement (FTA) with China. In fact, India should resume the FTA with the European Union too.
According to FIEO President Rafeeq Ahmed, India will benefit by entering into FTA with China. The government should not hesitate to talk about this. If Thailand can have an FTA with China, India should also seriously look at this.
Interestingly, in 2012, FIEO had said that exports to several countries with which India has signed FTAs have shown a decline.
Moreover, Indian manufacturing industry is strongly against FTA with China. The industry has been always complaining dumping of Chinese products in India which has already imposed anti-dumping duties on them.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), under the Commerce and Industry Ministry, too has opposed these pacts saying it impacts manufacturing sector.
While Ahmed is of the view that as wages are increasing in China and companies are shifting their manufacturing bases from China. India should take advantage of this opportunity. Setting up of export clusters or parks will help in attracting investment which is shifting from China.
Further, FTA with EU would help in boosting exports of sectors including textiles and leather.
India and the EU are negotiating the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) since June 2007 and have missed several deadlines to conclude the talks due to differences among the two sides on the level of opening up of the markets.
As of now India has implemented FTAs with Japan, Asean, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia. Indiaâ€™s exports to many countries with whom they have signed FTA has produced good results.
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