The external affairs minister said there are ways of engaging the world which do not necessarily have to be “FTA-centric”.

The free trade agreements (FTAs) that India entered into over the years have not been able to largely serve the country’s economy well in terms of building its capacities, though all such pacts are not the same, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Monday.
The external affairs minister said there are ways of engaging the world which do not necessarily have to be “FTA-centric”. Jaishankar made the comments during an online interaction with leading industrialist Sunil Kant Munjal and strategic affairs expert Prof C Raja Mohan on CNBC-TV18.

Replying to a question on New Delhi’s ties with neighbouring countries, he said it is a complex neighbourhood and India is often like a “punching bag”, adding creation of structural linkages could address the problem of “volatility” resulted by domestic politics of the countries.

Elaborating on his views on FTAs, Jaishankar said:”The fact is that they have not served the economy well in terms of building our capacities. I think there are ways of engaging the world which do not necessarily have to be FTA-centric,” the external affairs minister said.

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