The EU is India`s largest trading partner with 11.1% of total Indian trade, on a par with the US and China (10.7%). We are confident that free trade agreements with the EU and the US will benefit India and talks will resume,” said Gopal Krishna Agarwal, bharatiya Janata Party`s national spokesperson for economic affairs. “India is not opposed to trade agreements with other countries, although this now seems to be the popular idea, after leaving RCEP, we understand the need to remain integrated globally and regionally,” Agarwal added. There may be natural allies and partners in geopolitics. Not in the economy and international trade/investment. Remember that China is the largest trading partner of more than a hundred countries. Including the largest, the richest in consequences. Our economy must be globally competitive. Integrated into value chains that wind through Asia. Losing your temper at the last minute to join RCEP could be perceived as a lack of self-confidence. If we cannot compete with Laos and Cambodia, there is little hope that free trade agreements can be concluded with the United States and the EU. Outside the EU, Britain will no longer play any role.
Vietnam, which is becoming a huge competition for many economies, has already signed a trade pact with the EU. Trade and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said today that negotiations on the draft India-EU free trade agreement could soon be concluded. But in this heightened context, where most nations are cautious in their trade strategy, India needs to focus on deep bilateral free trade agreements with trading partners that have maximum trade leniency, especially the US and the EU. For the US, our unused export potential as a percentage of current exports is around 60%, compared to 90% for the EU. Further information on the EU-India Strategic Partnership, including in the area of trade and investment, is available in the new EU Strategy for India, adopted on 20 November 2018, as well as in the relevant Council conclusions. The EU is India`s largest trading partner with 12.5% of India`s total trade between 2015 and 2016, ahead of China (10.8%) and the US (9.3%). India is the EU`s 9th largest trading partner, with 2.4% of total EU trade. Bilateral trade (goods and services) reached €115 billion in 2017 EU exports to India increased from €24.2 billion in 2006 to €45.7 billion in 2018. India`s exports to the EU have steadily increased from €22.6 billion in 2006 to €45.82 billion in 2018, with the most important sectors being mechanical engineering, pharmaceuticals, precious stones and jewellery, other industrial goods and chemicals.
Trade in services also tripled between 2005 and 2016 to €28.9 billion. India is one of the few nations in the world with a surplus in services trade with the EU. Asset stocks from Europe to India reached €51.2 billion in 2015.  Are you trying to promote free trade while maintaining protectionism under the guise of “atmanirbhar Bharat”? You can`t have your cake and eat it! They are either open to trade or not. Relations between Europe and China are strained after the EU directly criticised Beijing over Hong Kong`s security law, while India and China saw deadly border disputes last month. .