Commerce Minister holds dialogue with 131 Indian embassies for FDI  

New Delhi: – The Indian government is making a valiant effort to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and to make trade opportunities available to the local companies and exporters. The government is seeking assistance from the Indian embassies located around the world for this purpose. Piyush Goel, the Union Minister for Commerce, held a dialogue with 131 Indian embassies worldwide over this subject through videoconferencing. Goel expressed confidence by stating, ‘Countries around the world are looking for a country with transparent and reliable functioning for investment. At this time, the Indian embassies can work to make the best possible utilisation of the opportunities presented in those countries.’  

A clear order has been issued in the high-level meeting, ‘There is a need to triplicate the rate of growth to recover from the losses suffered in the Coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, don’t miss any opportunity presented after the Coronavirus crisis is over.’ Piyush Goel pointed to this directive during the meeting with the officials from the Indian embassies. Goel said, at this time, extensive work is required to convert the Coronavirus pandemic into an opportunity.  

The Indian embassies should engage in a dialogue with multiple companies, present them with new communicative and innovative ideas and should bring suggestions for increasing exports. The Commerce Minister also appealed to the embassy officials to come up with suggestions and recommendations for improvement in the local industry. Goel also informed that the Department for Promotion and Investment and Internal Trade (DPIIT) had initiated work to offer a single-window clearance system to make it easy for the foreign investors and to set up factories and manufacturing units in India.

Goel clarified that India gives more importance to the impartial cooperation in multilateral trade agreements, and therefore, India did not participate in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RECP) agreement. Commerce Minister Goel told the embassy officials that this was an excellent time to work on the digital level on preparing the draft and plans for bilateral and multilateral cooperation.  

Last year, in November, India refused to sign the RECP agreement. This jolted the Chinese intention of reaping significant benefits from the deal. India had said at that time that the Indian concerns were not taken into consideration while finalising this most substantial free trade agreement in the world. After the Indian withdrawal, even Japan withdrew, saying that if India is not participating in the agreement, nor will Japan. Efforts are continuing to convince India to sign the deal.   

Recently, a discussion was held by the 15 member countries of the RECP through videoconferencing. At this time, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia have proposed negotiations to India to be a part of the agreement. A related report was published only two days ago. Against this background, the timing for the mention of reasons for withdrawing from the RECP by the Indian Commerce Minister is the most significant.   

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