India has a strong foreign exchange reserve and the country is in a comfortable position to meet all the requirements even in any worst-case scenario in the next five-six years, Commerce and industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday. India’s forex kitty jumped $3.553 billion to $599.529 billion for the week ended May 12, according to the Reserve Bank of India.
The minister also said that the government efforts have helped in managing inflation and “I am happy that it has been respected and recognised by the RBI (as) they have also taken a pause on the interest rates during the last MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) meeting”. On forex reserves, he said: “We have strong foreign exchange reserves… In the worst case with whatever difficulty anybody may have, India is comfortable for the next 5 or 6 years, given our forex reserves today, to be able to meet our forex requirements.” The minister was speaking at the annual session of industry body CII here.
He added that no other developing country in the world is in such a “sweet spot” and it was the first time in many years that business persons are seeing interest rates almost at par with developed countries.”I believe this is a compelling case for investments, for growth and for expanding our international outreach, for bringing technology, for bringing innovation into the country,” he said, suggesting the industry should focus on quality, innovation and skilled manpower.
Further he said that India’s trading partners want India to fast track negotiations for free trade agreements (FTAs). India is at present negotiating such agreements with nations including Canada, EFTA (European Free Trade Association), the UK, and the European Union (EU).
“It shows the increased importance of India in the global order. FTAs are two way traffic… I feel very sad when I am being told sometimes that I (industry) want access to the EU market, but please do not allow them to come into our market. “Those days are gone, this is a new India, this is an India which engages with the world from a position of strength and with full confidence”.
On exports, the minister exuded confidence to achieve USD 2 trillion worth of goods and services exports by 2030.He suggested the industry expand markets with an open mind, and engage with the world. “Look at our import basket, the basket largely gets affected by oil, which will have its own trajectory, possibly a lowering trajectory or a downward trend in the years to come. Our export basket has all the things that the world wants,” he said adding the industry should move forward