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Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal  (PTI)
Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal (PTI)

Open to discussing import of scotch whisky into India from UK: Piyush Goyal

  • 'Not that I drink scotch whisky, but I want to put an end to spurious liquor being sold in India in the name of scotch whisky,' says Commerce Minister at CII's India-UK Annual Conference
  • Goyal says time is ripe for early harvest trade deal with the UK

New Delhi: Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said India is open to importing scotch whiskey into India from UK in a larger measure.

While speaking at the inaugural session of CII's India-UK Annual Conference, Goyal urged UK to start engagement on a full fledged FTA deal.

"Bilaterally always simpler to engage, open to discussing import of scotch whisky into India from UK in a larger measure. Not that I drink scotch whisky but I want to put an end to spurious liquor being sold in India in the name of scotch whisky. As a bargain we are looking to create opportunities for our MSMEs, farmers, fishermen, handicrafts, textile industry, gems and jewellery industry" said Goyal.

"There are many industries which have huge potential to work with businesses in the UK where the UK is a net importer in a big way where India has the competitive and comparative advantage to be able to serve the UK's requirements," said Goyal.

“We should start an engagement on FTA. It is the need of the hour. We should look at the preferential trade agreement so that we can demonstrate to the whole world sincerity and seriousness of UK-India engagement.In bilateral agreements between 2 nations, we give some and get some. We are able to benefit businesses & create jobs on both sides of the table" the union minister added.

India offers a huge potential to give quality medical support at affordable prices and at a speed which they will not get in UK, he said.

The UK certainly can benefit significantly from India's healthcare offerings. A lot of the doctors in UK's national health service are Indians, he further said.

Goyal also urged UK to pick up 40-50 items and look at an early harvest deal with India, which will be WTO compliant.

The minister said that the confidence that CII has demonstrated in terms of India's ability to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic, has truly been remarkable. “We will rapidly recover, ensure businesses come back on track & we will back to the growth trajectory. We believe our manufacturing ecosystem will grow by $300 billion in the next 5 years. For boosting the domestic consumption & exports, we are focusing on the 24 industry sub-sectors," he said.

Goyal said that India ensured all its international commitments were met during the pandemic. He said" “This is the trusted partnership India offers to the world which has been recognized. All through the pandemic, our services exports were at 90% of last year's level of the corresponding period.This has added to the credibility of India as a trusted partner world over. Under the leadership of NarendraModi, we have been able to earn the goodwill, friendship, trust of world leaders and countries".

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