NEW DELHI: India has sought a review of its free trade agreements with the Asean, Japan and Korea to make them fair and equitable, a top government official said.
Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said India’s free trade pact with the Asean was the “most ill-conceived”. “The Asean agreement…(is the) most ill-conceived agreement. If anyone would have read that, it is so unfair to Indian industry,” Goyal said at an event organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Noting that India had opened its markets for Japan and Korea, Goyal pointed out that its exports to Japan had not grown “at all” but imports from that country had jumped 200%.
“What it (India’s exports to Japan) was 10 years ago, it is the same today with Japan… we are asking them to renegotiate with us the FTA to make it more balanced, fair and equitable,” he said. “It’s a difficult task for us in government also…we fight for the textile sector, our farmers, our auto sector, fishers electronics,” Goyal said. Emphasising the importance of stakeholder consultations, Goyal said that with the UAE, India imposed tariff quotas on some products after industry raised concerns on some products though the two sides had initially agreed, which was an “embarrassing situation” but it was beneficial for the domestic industry.