Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday that India would accord top priority to national interest in foreign trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, adding that the government won’t diverge from this approach for the sake of deadlines.
The minister’s statement came at a time when India and the UK are trying to finalise their FTA negotiations by Diwali.
Goyal was speaking at a meeting held to review India’s export performance in the first six months of this financial year, with key representatives from export promotion councils and industry associations.
At the meeting, industry representatives were apprised of the healthy growth of around 15.5 per cent seen in the first six months of this financial year, as compared to the previous year. However, it was alerted about the dip in export performance in September.
Highlighting the healthy growth seen in some markets such as Latin America and Africa, the meeting was informed that the evolving economic and geo-political environment required the industry to be attentive and optimistic so that growth opportunities in such new markets are not missed, official sources said.
Goyal emphasised on sustaining the export momentum and said that the interaction with export promotion councils has given the confidence that Indian exports will be able to weather the global headwinds and will surpass last year’s exports by a big margin, the sources said.
The minister added that India must keep prospecting for new opportunities in the world market and utilise all such possible chances to expand trade. He also emphasised on doing a deep dive of services import and see the areas/sectors in which they are increasing.
At the review meeting, the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) gave a presentation on year-on-year export trends vis-a-vis the major export markets of India, along with sectoral growths.
The leading and laggard export markets/sectors were specifically highlighted for specific attention and possible corrective measures.