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‘Full impact of Brexit on India may take some time to unfold’

‘Full impact of Brexit on India may take some time to unfold’

New Delhi: The full impact of the UK’s decision to exit European Union on India may take some time to unfold, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today.

“The opportunities for India would depend on Great Britain’s negotiations of terms of exit with the European Union and their future negotiated trade relations,” Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

India is negotiating broad-based Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) with the EU. She said the BTIA negotiations began in 2007 with sixteen rounds of negotiations concluded so far. Three rounds of stocktaking meetings have also been held recently, she added.

On other FTAs, she said that India is negotiating a trade pact with Israel. The eighth round was held in Israel from 24-26 November 2013 wherein discussions took place on market access in goods, rules of origin, custom procedures and trade in services, she said.

Also, the minister informed that a Joint Study Group (JSG) has been set up for considering the feasibility of entering into an FTA between India and Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU) comprising of five countries – Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.

The first meeting of the JSG with Ea EU was held on July 31, 2015. An FTA is also being negotiated with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Replying to a separate question, she said as on March 31, 204 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are functional. Maximum number of operational zones are in Tamil Nadu (36) followed by Telangana (26) and 25 each in Maharashtra and Karnataka.