India is not seeking permanent immigration visas from any country in FTAs: Goyal

Mobility is about expanding trade, business, providing temporary visas for people who visit a country either for work or for studies, Piyush Goyal said.

Published - April 13, 2023 04:44 pm IST - Rome

Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal addresses at the India-France Business Summit, in Paris, France, Tuesday, April 11, 2023.

Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal addresses at the India-France Business Summit, in Paris, France, Tuesday, April 11, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

India is not seeking permanent immigration visas from any country under a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and is only looking to engage with trading partners on mobility like temporary visas for students, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on April 13.

He said that some people mix up mobility and immigration but they are two separate subjects.

Mobility is about expanding trade, business, providing temporary visas for people who visit a country either for work or for studies, he said.

"India is not seeking permanent immigration visas from any country... We are only looking to engage with countries on mobility. We are concerned only about our ability to give services for business and investments through temporary visas,  for students who take training in the post study period... (and) for which we have found a lot of acceptance in all the countries with which we are talking," he told reporters here.

He added that post-Covid, the world is realising that remote working is a great success and in fact, this will open up huge opportunities for "our" young boys and girls from smaller towns and tier 2 and 3 cities.

“It would also improve the competitiveness of India’s services and help the country support the global effort towards international exchange of goods and services,” he added.

He was replying to a question about apprehensions raised by some countries on the services side that India's demand could result in large inflow of Indian professionals in those markets.

Providing temporary visas to professionals from sectors such as IT are key demands of India in trade agreements.

He also said that the negotiations with the U.K., E.U. and Canada are progressing fast.

When asked about a media report on issues in the ongoing talks between India and the U.K., the Minister said that some media speculate and looks for headlines only.

India and the U.K. are scheduled to hold the next round of talks for the agreement on April 24.

Some of the Indian exports from sectors such as apparel are of the view that the trade pact with the U.K. would help them push exports worth about $1 billion after the agreement comes into force.

Indian authorities have recently dismissed reports that India-U.K. trade talks have been stalled over the recent attacks involving pro-Khalistan groups in London.

According to British media reports, New Delhi has stalled negotiations with the U.K. over a free trade agreement (FTA) as it wants tougher action against these groups behind the attack on the Indian High Commission in London last month.

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