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FIEO urges Indian govt to expedite FTA signing with EU

Jun '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) recently urged commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal to fast-track the process of engagement with the European Union (EU) on the long-pending free trade agreement (FTA) with India—officially called the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA)—and sign it at the soonest possible.

Talks related to BTIA are stalled since May 2013 due to differences on several issues.

The EU is the largest market for India, accounting for 18 per cent of its exports, according to FIEO president S K Saraf, who, in his letter to the minister, said Vietnam, a strong competitor of India, has already signed a similar agreement (EVFTA) with the EU, which is likely to be operational by July-August.

EVFTA would make Vietnamese products cheaper in the EU compared to those from India, which does not augur well for many Indian products, particularly apparel, footwear, leather goods, furniture, tea, coffee and marine products, he was quoted as saying by a news agency.

He said the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement has also been signed, resulting in the Southeast Asian country attracting a lot of investments moving out of China in future.

In 2019, India exported apparels worth $7 billion to the EU, while Vietnam shipped worth $7.10 billion.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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June 2021

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