India-EU FTA at an advanced stage of conclusion: Anand Sharma

Report by India Education bureau, New Delhi: A Free Trade Agreement in trade and investment with the European Union is at an advanced stage of finalization, Mr. Anand Sharma, India’s Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Textiles said here today while addressing the ICC Asia Pacific CEO Forum.
The forum was organized by ICC India, the India Chapter of the International Chamber Commerce, Paris, on the theme ‘Asia Pacific: A Key to Rebalance Global Economy’.
Mr. Sharma said, “In South Asia, India is an integral part to the development of the region. There is a need to build regional strategic cooperative partnerships. A paradigm shift is taking place and Asia-Pacific will play a critical role in contributing to the economic and financial growth of the world.”
He said, “India’s National manufacturing Policy is one of the initiatives of the Government to raise the GDP share of manufacturing from 16% to 25% in a decade, which would result in creating 100 million skilled jobs,” and added that the Government was working on other policy reforms to encourage FDI and infrastructure development of the country.
Although India faces regional challenges in terms of lack of access to resources, technology, quality education, healthcare and movement of people but still by 2030, India will be able to fight these challenges and will provide a pool of skilled workforce to the world, he added.
Mr. Harsh Pati Singhania, President, ICC India, said, “The Asia Pacific region is assuming greater importance in global economy and it is important to foster at the regional level, cooperation and integration to maintain Asia’s growing prosperity. The region needs to integrate its markets, develop transport corridors and promote energy grids – as these will form the backbone of creating shared prosperity. The economic growth should be made more inclusive and gains be broadly shared.”
“Asia’s growth has brought significant benefits to the region and the world. But it is an unfinished agenda. We must continue to be proactive in working together, so as to build on our comparative strengths, reduce our shared vulnerabilities, and realize our common vision for shared prosperity and growth for our region and world,” he added.
Mr. Harold McGraw III, Vice-Chairman, ICC, stated that the US accounts for 21% of world GDP whereas Europe contributes 23%, Japan 7% and India and China together contribute around 12%. But it is projected that the dynamics will change drastically by 2030 when US, Europe and Japan together will contribute about 30% of the world GDP and India and China will have a  share of around 33%.
“There are 3Is –Inclusion, Investment and Infrastructure that can help the Asia-Pacific region to grow exponentially. Formation of Public Private Partnership, access to capital for investments and managing the urbanization process will form the basis for the inclusive and sustainable growth of the region,” he stated.
Mr. Raghu Mody, Immediate Past President ICC India & Chairman Business  Development Task Force, ICC Asia Pacific CEO Forum, said, “Leading international business personalities from USA, Sweden, China, Hong Kong China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, Finland, and from ICC headquarters in Paris have joined us in this ICC forum, being organized in India for the first time. These senior global business leaders are congregating for two days to discuss how the Asia-Pacific region can help stimulate the global economy. The aim is to create jobs, wealth and friendship amongst the nations of the region. ”
Mr. Rajan Bharti Mittal, Vice President, ICC India, stated that the business models created amongst the nations in the region are unique and India will become a hub of skills for the world. Also, the National Manufacturing Policy 2012 will go a long way in developing the cities and manufacturing hubs in the country.

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