Close trade ties with France and Italy will promote Indian exports
SummaryThe support of Rome and Paris could help conclude an India-EU trade deal that’s headed for a fifth round of talks this June
The visit of Union minister of commerce and industry Piyush Goyal to Paris and Rome on 11-13 April has come at a crucial moment. India currently holds the G20 presidency and has successfully completed its fourth round of negotiations with the EU for a free trade agreement (FTA). India’s trade with Italy and France has seen an upward trend after a dip during the covid pandemic. Bilateral merchandise trade between India and Italy was $13.23 billion in 2021-22, while the India-France bilateral trade in goods (excluding military equipment) was only a little less that year, at $12.42 billion. Top exports from India to Italy included iron and steel, products made of these, aluminium and its products, petroleum products and cotton ready-made garments. Our top exports to France were petroleum products, electric machinery and equipment, drug formulations, cotton ready-made garments (including accessories) and aircraft, spacecraft and parts. India had a positive trade balance in goods with both these European countries. In the services sector, the India-Italy bilateral trade was $952 million in 2020-21, while that with France was $4.63 billion. India’s services exports to the two markets include telecommunication services, IT and IT-enabled services, business services and transport services.