Attacking Western nations over their “protectionist” measures, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that this is being done even as these countries are advocating free trade. “Kant said that while India has emerged as one of the most open economies in the world, the Western world has become more protectionist even while advocating free trade,” Kant was quoted as saying by industry body CII in a statement.
He was speaking at the India-UK CII-DST Tech summit here.
The former DIPP Secretary said there is need for free trade in cross-border movement of manpower as well and the UK should allow meritorious people from India to work in the UK.
There is immense potential between India and the UK in the area of urbanisation, education, defence, finance, creative industry, and start-ups, among others, he added.
The government has created a conducive eco-system for start-ups. The Masala Bonds, launched in the UK, could help meet the funding requirements for start-ups, the Niti Aayog CEO noted.
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“Acknowledging UK’s commitment to free trade, Kant added that free trade should be across the board as there is no such thing as selective free trade,” CII said.
UK’s Minister of Trade and Investment Greg Hands said that Brexit offers a huge opportunity for UK-India economic interaction in areas such as life sciences, infrastructure, and services, among others.
The new Department of International Trade, which would have four Ministers, would help in trade facilitation. A Working Group has been constituted on Trade that would discuss the issue of India-UK FTA at an appropriate time, he added.