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‘Finalising early harvest trade deal with Australia; talks on with UK’

“Australia has shown significant interest to do an early harvest. They have kind of almost agreed to do an early harvest,” Piyush Goyal said while addressing Export Promotion Councils in Mumbai.

Commerce minister, piyush goyal, India big businesses, india small businesses, India startups, tata group, indian express, indian express newsIndustry and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal (File)

INDIA IS close to agreeing to an “early harvest” trade agreement as part of the ongoing discussions with Australia. The government is also working on a similar deal with the UK, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday. He added the early harvest deals would address trade issues in areas of immediate interest for India and other countries and that negotiations on the remaining areas would continue.

“Australia has shown significant interest to do an early harvest. They have kind of almost agreed to do an early harvest,” Goyal said while addressing Export Promotion Councils in Mumbai.

“So, I would urge all of you to quickly assess which are the areas where we can finalise the early harvest with Australia, what are the areas of your interest, what are the areas where you all can let go a little bit,” Goyal told exporters.

“The UK is something which is progressing well. We are working through line ministries to identify areas where we can quickly close the deal in the terms of early harvest, if possible,” said Goyal. He said the US had indicated that it was currently not looking at new trade agreements but the government was looking to work with them to address market access issues, such as addressing non-tariff barriers.

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The Minister said there had been mistakes made in previous Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) but this time the government is engaging with industry and other Ministries to ensure that the FTAs are “ fairly and equitably crafted”.

Goyal added FTAs could not be one-way traffic, saying: “We’ll also have to open our markets to others … identify areas where we have the confidence that we can withstand competition.”

First published on: 20-08-2021 at 03:34 IST
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