India looking for deeper engagement with UK: Goyal


New Delhi,  India is looking for ideas from all sides to strengthen and to give confidence to international investors, with the best of technologies, to come to India and invest, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said.  Interacting with the Indian diaspora in London last night, he said that the Indian community has made India proud by their contributions to the economies of India and the United Kingdom and have also strengthened relations between the two countries. During his hour-long interaction with the Indian diaspora, the Commerce Minister explained the strategy and focus of the newly elected Government, a statement said here on Monday.  During its first term, the stress was on meeting the basic necessities of common citizens like, housing, electricity, cooking gas and financial inclusion, which has made a huge impact and difference to the lives of the citizens down to the last mile. Mr Goyal termed the India Day event, which he will address this evening where think tanks and finance companies will come together, as very important, because he will be able to highlight the package of incentives for financial companies, announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget 2019-20. He said he will showcase India’s financial sector, in particular, the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City near Gandhi Nagar in Gujarat.   Speaking on trade with the UK and the US, the Commerce and Industry Minister said India will sit down across the table and find a common meeting ground with both countries. “There are obviously some red lines, which each side may find very difficult to compromise, but as long as we can respect that, as one would do in a business transaction or while negotiating a good deal, it will not be impossible to resolve it,” Mr Goyal said, adding, “Every country has to protect its national interest, legal sovereignty and the interests of its citizens.” He added that the FTAs entered into by India in 2009-10 had not been good deals and some of them are causing agony which is why India is looking at the United States to put that baggage behind and move forward. The Minister informed that he is meeting with leaders of the Government and bureaucracy, during his three-day visit to the United Kingdom, to understand in which direction and time frame the UK is looking at for the BREXIT to happen. “India is also in discussions to take the next step for deeper engagement with the UK. It is important the process is fast tracked now so that we are ready to work together speedily once BREXIT comes into effect,” Mr Goyal said. Regarding the ongoing RCEP negotiations, the Minister said India is working for a fair deal which protects the country’s interests and does not allow unfair market access. From now no agreement or trade pact on commerce will be at the cost of India's interests, the country’s sovereign requirements and interests of the citizens. He said his Ministry is now trying to speed up the entire process and streamline the patent office. There was a 7-year backlog in 2014. From now on all patent applications will be in the public domain and transparency will be maintained. Speaking on IPR enforcement, Mr Goyal said India has a long way to go as the process itself is very slow at the moment. The entire framework around IPR has to be strengthened in order to give confidence to international investors, with best of technologies, to come to India and invest.