Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said India will be able to conclude a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union by next year.

The IMC Chamber of Commerce, Goyal said the country has already sealed pacts with the UAE and Australia, and is in negotiations with other countries or blocs including the EU, UK, Canada and Gulf Coope- eration Council (GCC).

By next year, we would be able to conclude an FTA with the EU,” Goyal said, adding that a delegation from Italy including its foreign minister is in New Delhi now with which he will be having deliberations.

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Already, three rounds of negotiations have been held with the UK and there is a possibility of a fourth round soon, Goyal said, adding that he will be meeting the representatives on May 26-27.

The FTAs will push growth in India and create more jobs as well, Goyal said, making it clear that the country is looking for fair, equitable and win-win partnerships with other countries or blocs.

Pointing out that the country recorded USD 38 billion in exports in April, the highest for the month after the busy March when businesses are keen to seal sales before the financial year-end, Goyal said that a closer look at the numbers indicates that India is emerging as a manufacturing hub for high-class products.

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