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India is going to fast-track trade deals with at least half a dozen countries, including United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, European Union, Canada and Australia over the next few months, in line with its revamped foreign trade strategy, commerce secretary BVR Subrahmanyam said on Wednesday.

“We have actually revamped our FTA strategy. India has to engage with the rest of the world. Without that India will be shut out from global markets," Subrahmanyam said speaking at the annual meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industry, adding that such trade deals assume more significance now as India is not a part of any regional trade agreement.

Subrahmanyam said about 20 FTAs are under negotiation. “We are fastracking six of them and putting the rest slightly on the backburner. Earliest FTA that we will probably strike will be with the UAE. These are economies with complete complementarities," Subramanyam added.

Ministry of Commerce & Industry has undertaken a major drive to identify and push 31 commodities through 200 countries with a targeted $400 million exports for FY22 and has laid down a roadmap for a targeted $1 trillion goods exports and $700 billion of services exports by FY28.

Subrahmanyam said the government will come out with a report that will be pushed through all Embassies and the Ministry of External Affairs for identifying and bolstering trade value with partners.

The commerce ministry is concerned that while the value of exports has remained constant over the last 10 years, export incentives has trebled, the commerce secretary said. The Secretary observed that 70% of India's exports comprise only a 30% share of the world’s traded commodities, indicating the need to shift the focus from low value products and export of raw materials to high value products. The commerce ministry is planning to set up adequate real time import monitoring, not with the purpose of controlling imports, but to identify high-import products as prospective for manufacturing in-house.

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