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Trade negotiations for ensuring inclusive growth
Jan '08
Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, has said that India's pace of globalisation has picked up dramatically in the past five years, particularly the trade in goods and services.

He was addressing at a session on “How can Trade Negotiations Ensure Inclusive Growth” at the Partnership Summit. The Minister mentioned that trade in goods and services amounts to $450 billion, more than half of India's GDP.

Both exports and imports benefited from the strengthening of world trade and grew in double digits. Exports crossed $126 billion in 2006-07, growing by over 25% each year from 2004, while imports stood at $191 billion.

The exports to GDP ratio have dramatically gone up to 13.9%, and imports now form 21.1% of GDP. In 2000-01, exports of services were $16.2 billion – by 2006-07, the figure went up to $81.3 billion, almost five-fold increase.

Foreign direct investment of almost $13 billion has come into the country between January and August 2007. Ministers from South Africa, Indonesia and Ethiopia also addressed the session.

As regards FTAs, Shri Kamal Nath stated that Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) have been put in place with Singapore and Thailand. FTAs are in the negotiations stage with many other regions and countries.

These include the European Union, ASEAN, South Korea and Japan, MERCOSUR of South America, Gulf Cooperation Council, etc. More than half of the world trade is currently being carried out under trading agreements.

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