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India in process of finalising Mauritius FTA: minister

25
Sep '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
India is in the process of finalising the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) with Mauritius, according to commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal, who recently told a virtual conference that the proposed India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) seeks to mutually benefit both in trade in goods and services.

India and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) recently decided to resume early negotiations for a preferential trading agreement (PTA), Goyal said at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-EXIM Bank digital conclave on India-Africa project partnership. SACU consists of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.

In an FTA, two sides reduce or eliminate duties on the maximum number of products they trade in, whereas in a PTA, the tariffs are eliminated or cut on certain number of items.

The minister said that in the near future, India will be happy to work more closely with the African free trade zone, a news agency reported. India will also continue to support Africa through lines of credit in priority sectors such as agriculture, irrigation, health, digital technology, power plants, transmission lines and rail infrastructure.

As of June 2020, India has committed $12.7 billion for 40 countries in Africa on highly favourable terms, he added.

Bilateral trade between the two sides grew from about $7 billion to nearly $67 billion in the last 20 years. India is the fifth largest investor in African continent with a cumulative investment of over $54 billion in the last few years in areas like oil and gas, mining, banking and textile.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)


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