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India bracing for TPP
02
Feb '16
Courtesy: PIB
Courtesy: PIB
Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the government was preparing a strategy to safeguard the country's trade interests in anticipation of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) impacting the overall trade scenario, and particularly India's exports in pharmaceuticals, textiles and chemicals.

The 12-nation TPP will be signed in New Zealand on February 4.

"We have certainly started looking into all the implications of any possible diversion in trade ... So keeping that diversion possibility which will happen and which can negatively affect India we are certainly looking at those sectors which will be bearing the brunt immediately after the TPP comes into the force," she told reporters in New Delhi.

She said the TPP could result in rising imports to India and the government was trying to identify countries where Indian investments can set up manufacturing bases.

"The TPP will certainly have an impact on India's exports and it is most likely to affect sector like leather goods, plastics, chemicals, textiles and clothing," she said.

Sitharaman conceded that the investor-State dispute mechanism will have a "serious bearing" on countries like India which are not part of the TPP. India would also have to look at labour laws, rules of origin of products, intellectual property rights and product standards.

She said that this trade pact could impact the overall trade scenario and countries like India would have to look at their policy stance to cope up with the implications.

The Minister said the trading and manufacturing public sector units would be impacted by the TPP.

She asked the industry to look at regions like Africa and CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) to enhance investments and take advantage of TPP norms and export to those economies.

Sitharaman said India is also part of a mega trade deal - Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, which is under negotiations. The 16-member bloc RCEP comprises 10 ASEAN members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam) and their six FTA partners -- India, China, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

She also said that talks are on for bilateral trade pacts with countries, including Canada and Australia.

"We are working on all the FTAs. So, India is not just sitting and watching the TPP. It is ensuring that it is moving in the right direction and making sure that the details of TPP are being looked into with great interest," she said.

The Indian textile industry, particularly textile exporters have been asking the government to expedite FTAs with Canada, Australia and the EU. Even ahead of the TPP, Indian textile exports have been falling. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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