Home Trade association Until we get a good deal, no trade pact with Israel: Goyal

Until we get a good deal, no trade pact with Israel: Goyal

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The proposed India-Israel trade pact is expected to be beneficial for both nations and until New Delhi gets a good deal, it will not strike a deal, Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said.

India and Israel have been negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) since May 2010.

”With Israel, until we get a good agreement, we will not conclude an FTA. It must be mutually beneficial,’ the minister said here on Tuesday during an interaction with the Indian community.

In a free trade pact, two countries significantly reduce or eliminate customs duties on a maximum number of goods traded between them. In addition, they are relaxing standards to boost trade in services and attract investment.

India’s top exports to Israel include precious stones and metals, chemicals, and textiles and textile articles, while imports include precious stones and metals, chemicals and minerals, base metals, and machinery and transportation equipment.

Bilateral merchandise trade between the two countries stood at around USD 8 billion in 2021-22. It was USD 4.7 billion in 2020-21.

India recently signed trade pacts with the United Arab Emirates and Australia.

”We are in active negotiations with the United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union. Of these, the UK would likely arrive soon now that the new government is in place there,’ Goyal said.

Conservative Party leader Liz Truss was officially appointed as Britain’s prime minister on Tuesday. She is the country’s third female prime minister.

Goyal said active negotiations are underway with several countries on trade pacts.

With Canada, he said “maybe we could see rapid progress in the trade agreement or the interim trade agreement by the end of the year or the beginning of next year”.

With the EU, he said, as it is a 27-nation bloc, the proposed trade pact with it would likely take a year and a half or two.

”We have three other groups of countries – the Russian group of five countries, Switzerland and a group of 3-4 countries that are very very keen to enter into an FTA with India.

”I am trying to assess whether Switzerland and other countries are bringing something substantial to the table that is good for India. The minister (Swiss) is coming in a week or two to India, the agenda is FTA. Last time, I kind of said conclusively that we weren’t very excited about it. If he makes me an offer that I can’t refuse, maybe we will,” he said.

Talks with the GCC, he said, are at an advanced stage to prepare the scope of the trade pact and negotiations on it could be launched “very soon”.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a union of six countries in the Gulf region, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) are Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) includes Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

During this time, the minister interacted with venture capitalists here.

He encouraged them to deepen their engagements and strengthen their partnerships with Indian startups.

Responding to a question on the semiconductor sector, Goyal said India offers incentives for companies to set up manufacturing units.

“We are in dialogue with many companies and several of them have shown strong interest in investing in India,” he said.

Speaking on Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), he said efforts were underway to roll out the initiative in one or more cities soon.

ONDC is a set of standards to be voluntarily adopted by sellers or logistics providers or payment gateways. The aim is to democratize the growing e-commerce sector in the country to help small retailers and reduce the dominance of online retail giants.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)