Free Trade Agreements – Opportunities and Challenges

Free trade agreements are arrangements between two or more countries or between a country and a trading bloc to abolish or reduce tariffs, quotas, and preferences on goods and services traded. Countries often agree to FTAs if their economic structures are complementary, not competitive. India currently has 11 Free Trade Agreements or Regional Trade Agreements with other countries/regions in addition to 6 limited coverage Preferential Trade Agreements. Strategically, FTAs have helped India compete at a global level and enhance its growth. Last year Parliament Standing Committee on commerce in its report had recommended the government to iron out the issues hindering the signing of Free Trade Agreements with the US and the EU nations as domestic exporters are at a disadvantage due to the absence of these agreements.

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