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Free trade pact with UAE nearing conclusion, says Piyush Goyal

New Delhi: Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said a free trade agreement with the UAE is nearing to conclusion, and negotiations for the proposed pact with Australia are at an advanced stage. Goyal said the government was striving to conclude several early harvest agreements so that their benefits could reach the industry soon.

"FTA with UAE was nearing conclusion, negotiations were at an advanced stage with Australia, and that discussions with Israel were ongoing," a commerce ministry statement quoted the minister as saying.

He also asked industry leaders to be proactive in giving inputs to the government for FTA negotiations.

"Industry should become more demanding," he added. The minister said this at a meeting with heads of top industry associations and businesses.

He also said that the growth in services exports, in spite of travel and tourism restrictions, was truly "commendable" and "we must aim to reach $250 billion services exports".

Industry associations that participated in the meeting include PHDCCI, CII, Indian Chamber of Commerce, Indian Merchant Chamber, Southern India Chamber of Commerce and Industry, All India Association of Industries and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

Separately in a statement, PHDCCI said that in the meeting its President Pradeep Multani urged the public sector units to release all pending dues of MSMEs to help them to meet their financial requirements in this extremely

difficult time.

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