Currently, WTO members are engaged in a round of multilateral negotiations, known as the Doha Development Agenda. Negotiations are currently at a standstill; The four main players in the food trade (Brazil, the EU, India and the United States) have spoken but have not yet reached an agreement. While ASEAN has pledged to reduce tariffs on more than 4,000 products and liberalize tariffs by more than 90%, India currently suffers from a trade deficit with the region. The fourth disadvantage lies in small businesses in a country. A multilateral agreement gives a competitive advantage to huge multinationals. They are already familiar with the action in a global environment. As a result, small businesses cannot compete. They lay off workers to reduce costs. Others are relocating their factories to countries with lower living standards. If a region depended on this industry, it would experience high unemployment rates. This makes multilateral agreements unpopular. A comprehensive analysis of trade between India and its main FTA partners, mentioned above, shows a significant increase in trade since the agreements went into operation. SAFTA came into force on 1 January 2006 and, according to data from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, bilateral trade between India and other SAFTA member countries increased from $6.8 billion in 2005-2006 to $28.5 billion in 2018-19.
SAFTA`s Indian trade has grown faster than overall trade with the world. As a result, the share of SAFTA countries in India`s international trade increased from 1.6% in 2005-2006 to 2.5% in 2018-19. At the same time, India`s exports to SAFTA countries grew faster than their imports from them, resulting in a sharp increase in the trade surplus with these economies from about $4 billion to $21 billion. The maximum growth in exports to the SAFTA region was recorded with Bangladesh and Nepal. After the withdrawal last November from the China-dominated Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), New Delhi decided to intensify talks on a series of “balanced and fair” trade pacts, unlike previous free trade agreements that “worsened India`s trade deficit.” She had sought a “limited” agreement with the United States, which has been underway for several months, and a broader free trade agreement (FTA) after the presidential elections in November. .