The Government of India as well as the governments of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member countries will shortly begin negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA), a senior official has said. The 5-member EAEU comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. India’s annual trade with EAEU is currently at $8.4 billion.

India and the EAEU had decided to set up a Joint Feasibility Study Group on the India – EAEU FTA at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in 2015. “This report has since been finalised and accepted by the Government of India and governments of the individual EAEU countries following which negotiations on the FTA are to be launched,” Ramesh Abhishek, secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, ministry of commerce and industry, said at the recent SPIEF in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Speaking at a session on ‘Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) – India:  A Strategic Partnership’ organised as a part of SPIEF, Abhishek said there was a need to promote connectivity between India and the EAEU region and the International North South Transport Corridor would be extremely critical for this purpose.

He also highlighted the role being played by the “Green Corridor” in promoting trade facilitation between India and Russia. He felt that this Corridor could be extended to the other EAEU countries in due course.

Speaking at the same session, Eurasian Economic Commission minister for trade Veronika Nikishina said that the EAEU has so far only concluded one FTA with Vietnam, and India would be the second. “This demonstrates the importance being placed on India by the EAEU.”

A strong FTA between India and the EAEU will help strengthen the India – EAEU strategic partnership, noted Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) president Shobana Kamineni.

CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee said that the India – EAEU FTA will also provide a foundation for further deepening of ties between India and members of the EAEU. (RKS)

Source : Fiber 2 Fashion

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