Time is ripe for early harvest trade deal with the UK: Piyush Goyal

Union Minister Piyush Goyal. Photo: PTI

Minister of Railways and Commerce and industry Piyush Goyal has called for aiming for a target of $500 billion of service exports.

Addressing the inaugural session of CII's India-UK Annual Conference virtually on Tuesday, he said that this is doable.

"We are all confident that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, India will get back to our 5 trillion economy target, and it is time we leverage on this," said Goyal.

The Minister said that in the week from 8th to 14th September, the value of exports is $6.88 billion, up by 10.73 per cent over the same period of the previous year.

"This is indicative that India is in a move to get back. Our resilience is showing, our confidence is emerging, our can-do spirit is reflected in all these numbers," he added.

Goyal expressed the belief that the time is ripe to have an early harvest trade deal between India and the United Kingdom.

He said "We should start an engagement on FTA. It is the need of the hour. We should look at the preferential trade agreement so that we can demonstrate to the whole world sincerity and seriousness of UK-India engagement. In bilateral agreements between the two nations, we give some and get some. We are able to benefit businesses and create jobs on both sides of the table."

He added that we must look at taking it forward expeditiously. Talking about the initiative between Japan, Australia and India towards Resilient Supply Chains, he said that it holds good potential for us to take forward with other countries like UK, Europe, US and certain Latin American and African countries.

Goyal said that there are many industries which have huge potential to work with businesses in the UK, where the UK is a net importer in a big way and where India has a competitive and comparative advantage to be able to serve the UK's requirements.

"We have had a very good dialogue in terms of considering how we can prepare before January to see if engagement with the UK can be taken to the next level. The UK certainly can benefit significantly from India's healthcare offerings. India offers a huge potential to give quality medical support at affordable prices and at a speed which they will not get in the UK," said Goyal.

The Minister said that the confidence that CII has demonstrated in terms of India's ability to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic has truly been remarkable.

"We will rapidly recover, ensure businesses come back on track and we will back to the growth trajectory. We believe our manufacturing ecosystem will grow by $300 billion in the next 5 years. For boosting domestic consumption and exports, we are focusing on the 24 industry sub-sectors," said Goyal.

He added that India ensured that all its international commitments were met during the pandemic.

"This is the trusted partnership India offers to the world which has been recognised. All through the pandemic, our services exports were at 90 per cent of last year's level of the corresponding period. This has added to the credibility of India as a trusted partner world over. Under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, we have been able to earn the goodwill, friendship, trust of world leaders and countries," said Goyal.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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