MUMBAI: India is likely to sign the comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) with Australia and Chile soon following a renewed push to the pacts.
“We are very close to signing FTA with Chile. We are also having next level discussion with Australia for FTA agreement and we hope to conclude soon,” department of commerce joint secretary Dammu Ravi told reporters.
He was speaking on the sidelines of industry consultation meeting on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations organized by CII here. He interacted with industry members to better understand the Indian industry’s concerns.
Ravi also said that the Centre hopes to sort out problems in Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) with European Union (EU) and FTA with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
FTA allows duty-free or low-duty trade in merchandise between the signatories.
Ravi said that the Euro crisis, Yuan devaluation and slowdown in global economy may hit India’s exports and government is taking measures to boost exports.
The joint secretary said that the process of RCEP will only go forward with the industry’s input and how the industry drives it.
According to Ravi, the next round negotiations on RCEP agreement is scheduled to be held at Busan in South Korea in October this year. The negotiations have moved into advanced stage as members are now finalising the tariff modalities.