After India opts out of China-led RCEP, Piyush Goyal says India supports FTA with European Union

  • India should hold talks with the European Union for a free trade agreement, the government said on Tuesday.

  • The statement comes a day after it refused to join a China-backed regional trade pact for fear of a flood of cheap Chinese imports.

  • Trade minister Piyush Goyal said sectors such as gems, textiles and agriculture have pushed for a trade pact with the EU.

New Delhi: India should hold talks with the European Union for a free trade agreement, the government said on Tuesday, a day after it refused to join a China-backed regional trade pact for fear of a flood of cheap Chinese imports.

 After India opts out of China-led RCEP, Piyush Goyal says India supports FTA with European Union

File image of Piyush Goyal. Image courtesy: PIB

Trade minister Piyush Goyal said sectors such as gems, textiles and agriculture have pushed for a trade pact with the EU.

German chancellor Angela Merkel has also called for talks to restart to finalise an agreement.

"We should engage in an FTA with the EU," Goyal told a news conference where he explained the reasons for not joining the Regional Cooperative Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) that 15 nations concluded on Monday.

Goyal said India had put forward "strong demands" on services, investments leading to the prolonged negotiations for the RCEP, which includes the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, besides China.

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Updated Date: Nov 06, 2019 08:20:20 IST