TPP not a threat to India’s foreign trade: Commerce Minister
Seeking to allay apprehensions over the impact of TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement on India’s foreign trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government has taken all “necessary steps” to tackle the “emerging new trade architecture”. “There is nothing to worry about the adverse impact of TPP on India. We have taken necessary steps to boost India’s trade and investment in the wake of emerging new trade architecture”, said Sitharaman while addressing the CII Partnership Summit in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, on Monday. The US-led trade agreement involving 12 Pacific Rim countries which was signed in October last year seeks to allow preferential trade of goods and services between the member countries. Countries engaged in TPP are the US, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. India is out of the new trade bloc, which accounts for more than 40% of the global trade. However, out of the 12 signatories, India currently has FTAs with Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore, while talks are underway with Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Experts say that some of the key Indian exports, including textiles and services, are likely to hit once the TPP comes into force. But, Sitharaman on Monday said that the real implementation of TPP has a long way to go as till date not a single TPP member has got it passed through its parliament. “There is nothing regional about TPP as countries are spread across different continents. This is an agreement involving a basket of countries”, she added. The minister also highlighted the performance of India in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), saying that while globally FDI flows have fallen by 16%, the inflow into India has seen a sharp increase of 38% last year. Earlier during a pre-budget meeting with Indian industries last week, the Commerce Minister had also assured that the government will focus more on free trade agreements (FTAs) to boost India’s global trade. She said the government will also consider suggestions from industries while reviewing the existing FTAs.
January 12, 2015 | 12:44pm IST.