India seeks investments, but won't sign unfair trade deals: Piyush Goyal

India has red lines to protect its economy and it won't sign unfair trade agreements, said Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal in London on Sunday.

 

Goyal spoke to an audience of Indian diaspora after his government's policy measures on e-commerce, data localisation and a tax surcharge on the rich were believed to have spooked investors.

 

Indian government is looking for ideas from all sides to strengthen and to give confidence to international investors, with the best of technologies, to come to India and invest, he said.

 

India will sit down across the table and find a common meeting ground with the US and the UK, he said. There are obviously some red lines, which each side may find difficult to compromise, but as long as we can respect that, as one would do in a business transaction or while negotiating a good deal, it will not be impossible to resolve it.

 

He said countries have to protect their national interest and sovereignty.

 

He said trade agreements India signed in 2009-10 had not helped the country and "which is why India is looking at the US to put that baggage behind and move forward.

 

About the proposed free trade pact Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), he said that India is working for a fair deal that does not allow unfair market access.

 

From now, no agreement or trade pact on commerce will be at the cost of India's interests, the country's sovereign requirements and interests of the citizens.