India would become the third largest economy in the world in the next five years and by 2047 could be at the level the United States of America is at present, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Saturday.
He also called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade deal as a "disaster in the making" and it "was music to my ears" when Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country would not be joining it.
The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry was speaking at the Asia Economic Dialogue 2023 event in Pune.
"I think in the next four to five years, India will be the third largest economy in the world (from fifth position at present). By 2047, we will be at the level that the United States of America is today. The 1.4 billion people of India are going to make our economy a USD 30-40 trillion one," he said.
On India not joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade deal, Mr Goyal said, "It was disaster in the making as we were entering a free trade agreement without a court of appeal, no democracy or rule of law. Except a handful of people, I don't remember anyone saying we should join RCEP," he said.
India was the outlier in the RCEP mechanism as, of the 15 nations in it, India had free trade agreements with 10 ASEAN nations as well as Japan and Korea, and also due to "geo political tensions with China", he added.
In November, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that India would not join the RCEP trade deal.
Speaking at the RCEP Summit in Thailand, the PM had said negotiations had failed to address India's outstanding issues and concerns.
The RCEP was to comprise 10 ASEAN nations and six of its free trade agreement partners, namely India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
India opted out, with one of the fears being the flooding of its markets with cheap Chinese agricultural and industrial products.
Speaking on trade with China, Mr Goyal said the mechanism envisaged at the time would have severely impacted manufacturing in India.
"My own experience is China blocks the door for imports from India, while we here have become weaker and started enjoying low cost, low quality goods (from there). Its somewhere like opium," he said.
"Between 2004-2014, out trade deficit with China rose from USD 500 million to USD 48 billion. We allowed everything to come in from China while they stopped products from India. Therefore, it was music to my ears when PM Modi said we would not join the RCEP trade deal," he asserted.
Every segment of society, the industrial and agricultural sectors, welcomed the PM's decision on RECP, Mr Goyal said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)