Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday said he is hopeful of India finalising certain free trade agreements (FTAs) in the next few months, which would help promote exports.

India is in the final stages of concluding FTA negotiations with the UK. The country is also negotiating similar pacts with Canada and European Union (EU).

“We can leverage the free trade agreements with the UAE and Australia and we are hopeful that in the next few months, we will finalise many more free trade agreements to help you grow your business with zero duty on finished leather products and footwear available for you to exploit bigger and better markets,” Goyal said while addressing footwear industry representatives here.

The minister also asked the industry to focus on quality and sustainable manufacturing processes to tap business opportunities in the developed world.

The Indian footwear and leather industry is not only a major foreign exchange earner but being a labour-intensive sector, it also provides employment to approximately 4.5 million people, 40 per cent of whom are women.

He said that India has the capacity to become the world’s largest and best-quality footwear manufacturer.

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