Free trade agreements can have an impact on a signatory country in many ways, depending on the breadth of the agreements, the depth and breadth of the commitments made, and national availability and capacity. The potential impact of a free trade agreement on the economy or export is subject to many reservations. Free trade agreements can only guarantee market access for appropriate quality products produced at competitive prices. Improving competitiveness at the enterprise level is a must. The government can help by guaranteeing lower tariffs on raw materials and intermediate products than on the finished products concerned. It can set up a sophisticated quality and standard infrastructure for essential products. Most countries regulate imports through such requirements and not through tariffs. Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, also known as RCEP, is a mega-trading bloc being negotiated between the ten members of the ASEAN group and six other members, namely South Korea, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and India. It is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between these nations, which will include goods and services, investment, intellectual property rights, economic and technical cooperation and dispute settlement. Free trade agreements are agreements between two or more countries or trading blocs that are primarily intended to reduce or eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers to essential trade between them. Over the past two decades, free trade agreements (SAAs) have given a boost around the world.
India was no exception to this trend. As of 2019, India has had 16 such agreements in force. Various studies have convincingly shown that India has not benefited from its free trade agreements from the point of view of market access. Although India`s trade in products with FTA partners increased, the increase in imports outpaced the increase in exports, leading to a deterioration in the bilateral trade balance with the FTA partners. Trade is very important to most nations of the modern world. Barrier-free trade – free trade – is promoted by institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO). In this context, India`s free trade agreements, as an emerging superpower, deserve special attention.