Washington: Noting that achieving a comprehensive free trade agreement between India and the US would take time because of sharp differences on several issues involved, industry body FICCI has called for an Indo-US FTA excluding the contentious issues like agriculture.
“Instead of waiting for long, it is in the interest of both the countries to move ahead with an FTA excluding agriculture,” FICCI president Harsh Pati Singhania said, winding up his week-long US trip during which he met key officials in the US administration, Congressmen and business leaders.
In fact, there are instances wherein the US has entered into free trade agreement with countries excluding some of the contentious issues like agriculture. Singhania said a bi-partisan delegation of members of Parliament, who were here in the US last week, meeting US lawmakers and government officials also agreed with the Ficci viewpoint to push for a Indo-US FTA excluding agriculture.
He was joined by Ficci general secretary Amit Mitra as both held a series of meetings in Washington in an effort to set the tone of Indo-US business relationship for the two new governments for the next five years.