India’s preferential trade agreement (PTA) with the Mercosur bloc should be re-examined with the objective of deepening the bilateral economic and business exchanges between the two regions, says a top government official.
Commerce secretary Rita Teaotia, speaking at the inaugural session of the two-day 6th India-Latin America and Caribbean Conclave in New Delhi, emphasised, “While the India-Mercosur PTA as it stands today is limited in many ways, it has contributed to 68% increase in India-Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) bilateral trade volume.
“The bilateral trade flow could increase several-fold if the PTA were to be re-structured in keeping with the emerging opportunities for trade expansion.” Mercosur consists of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, the commerce secretary said.
At the third edition of the India-LAC conclave organised by CII along with the MEA and the commerce ministry, Teaotia said that while India has established deeper trade relations with several LAC countries, and discussions are on for an FTA with Peru, India’s trade relations with the Caribbean countries need to be intensified. India’s bilateral trade with the LAC region increased to $45 billion in 2014-15.