US are beneficial for the country as it would open more opportunities for exports.
“Negotiations with the US are to India’s advantage because we have a trade surplus (with the US)… it opens up more opportunity for our exports in a big way,” Goyal said at the Economic Times Global Business Summit here.
Terming the negotiations ‘complex’, the minister said a big win would be when Indian people can benefit from it and innovation, research and development, and better technologies are the areas that New Delhi is focusing on.
“And I can assure you that negotiations are in a very friendly, extremely positive approach,” Goyal said.
Goyal’s statement comes almost a fortnight after US president Donald Trump met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and
both leaders agreed to promptly conclude the ongoing trade negotiations that would become phase one of a comprehensive bilateral trade agreement.
Goyal added that not only a short term engagement, but India should look at a larger engagement with the US which has huge imports and a huge potential for many of Indian products like textiles, gem and jewelry, chemicals, medicine, and pharmaceuticals.
The minister said the bonhomie and trust between the two leaders will “hold us in good stead in our negotiations”.
Referring to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade pact which
India opted out of last year, Goyal said any other government would have possibly also signed the pact that would have threatened Indian domestic industry.
Allaying fears about the impact of the corona virus on the economy, Goyal said the numbers do not reflect any immediate cause of concern and India’s import and exports in February have slightly increased.
He said India is quite insulated and the country’s interdependency is leaser than other parts of the world, he said: “We are in fairly good shape”.
The minister said that his ministry is
engaging with industry to see the
gaps in the global supply chain which India can fill and also scouting for alternate sources to meet the country’s need for inputs.
“Our bigger focus is to ensure that we sensitise our population to preventive healthcare,” he said on being asked if
India is trying to attract manufacturers with China being the worst affected by the virus.
Terming Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Ayushman Bharat the ‘unsung heroes’, he said sanitation and clean India have a huge dimension on the health of the nation.