A month after saying that India needs to create reciprocal global standards and criticising Europe for its “impossible” standards that work as non-tariff barriers, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that India is hopeful of working with the European Union towards a free trade agreement. This could possibly start with a preferential trade agreement, he said. Goyal further said that despite the COVID-19 lockdowns, India’s information technology sector served businesses in Europe without any interruption. Thus, “India can be the trusted partner to move away from single source supply chains”, he said, while speaking at a session on EU-India Collaborative Economic Growth on October 7. India’s renewed focus on becoming an integral part of global supply chains In June, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology announced three schemes, with a total outlay of ₹50,000 crore (~$6.82 billion), to encourage domestic manufacturing. Under one of the schemes — the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme) —, MEITY, on October 6, approved 16 electronics companies. These include three companies that manufacture iPhones — Foxconn, Wistron, Pegatron —, and Samsung. As a result, these companies along with a host of domestic mobile phone makers (including Lava and Micromax) will get 4-6% in incentives on their incremental sales until 2025. To ease manufacturing, in August 2019, the government had relaxed local sourcing FDI norms for single brand retailers in a bid to revive economic growth. Thus, single brand retailers are no longer required to locally source 30% of goods and are now allowed…
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