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HindustanTimes Mon,14 Jul 2014

India to pick, choose and craft free trade pacts

Mahua Venkatesh , Hindustan Times  New Delhi , August 04, 2013
First Published: 22:19 IST(4/8/2013) | Last Updated: 22:29 IST(4/8/2013)

With a view to boosting exports at a time when the current account deficit is putting a spanner in the government machinery causing sleepless nights in the government, India is likely to chalk out a country-wise strategy for each free trade agreement it has signed — before inking any new one.

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A one-size-fits-all strategy will not work, a senior government official said, adding that the contours of the agreements must be drawn uniquely with each country to get desired results.

“The FTAs have not given us the desired results and we need to see how we can make them more effective before signing new ones,” a senior government official, who did not wish to be identified told Hindustan Times.

Finance minister P Chidambaram has meanwhile underlined the need to enhance exports to balance imports.

Exports to several countries including Japan and Singapore, with which India has FTAs, have shown a declining trend, while imports from most of these countries have shown an increase, the official said.

India has also signed FTAs with South Korea and Malaysia, and is looking at pacts with the European Union and Pakistan.

India’s CAD in 2012-13 hit a record high of 4.8%. The government has underlined the need to locate new markets to boost exports, which would be crucial to bring down the CAD.


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