New Delhi, Apr 9 (PTI) India can benefit from the ongoing challenges in global trade provided it plays its cards well, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu today said.

He said that some countries are taking steps which are testing the entire global trading system.

“We are passing through a challenging but an opportune time. If we play our cards properly, and that is what we are trying to do… we can actually benefit from it by creating an opportunity around the issues that are happening globally. We have no choice but to respond in a positive manner,” he said.

The minister was speaking at the CII annual general meeting here.

The decision of the US to impose duties on certain steel and aluminium products besides hiking tariffs against Chinese goods has triggered a global trade war, with China retaliating to the move.

Trade experts worldwide have raised concerns over these measures.

“In this context, we must be ready to not only to face the challenge but also make that into an opportunity,” he added.

The minister said that the government is taking steps to boost exports, industrial growth and manufacturing activities.

Indian economy would reach USD 5 trillion in the coming years; and despite the global situation, it is growing at a faster pace, he said.

We are looking at a strategy to work multi-laterally as well as bilaterally to get greater market access of domestic products and services and boost India’s exports, Prabhu said.

He said that India has proposed a mutually beneficial free-trade agreement with Africa and is working to resume a similar pact with European Union.

He also stated that assistant US Trade Representative is visiting India to deliberate on trade-related issues.

Prabhu, who also holds the aviation portfolio, said that the sector sector is facing lot of issues and the ministry is working on them.

He said that thousands of airplanes would be required in the coming years and “if you manufacture them along with drones, then it will create huge opportunities”.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.