India, EU conclude 1st round of negotiations for Free Trade Agreement
The next round of talks will be held in Brussels in September
India and the European Union concluded the first round of talks for the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in New Delhi on Friday.
The next round of talks for the India-EU Trade and Investment Agreements, including the Geographical Indicators (GI), is scheduled at Brussels in September, the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry said on Saturday.
Fifty-two technical sessions spanning 18 FTA policy areas, as well as 7 sessions on investment protection and GIs, were held during this round, the ministry said.
Chief Negotiator Nidhi Mani Tripathi, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, headed the FTA discussions for India, while, on the other hand, Chief Negotiator Christophe Kiener represented the European Union.
Some of the teams met in Delhi for the week-long discussions, which were conducted in a hybrid mode with the majority of the officials engaging virtually.
On June 17, India and the 27-nation EU had resumed negotiations after a gap of over eight years on the proposed agreements on trade, investments and Geographical Indications (GI).
The negotiations were launched in Brussels by Minister for Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal and European Commission’s Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis at Brussels.
India and the EU conducted bilateral commerce of 116.36 billion USD in 2021–22. Despite the global disruptions, bilateral commerce grew at a remarkable rate of 43.5% in 2021–22. At the moment, the EU is India's second-largest commercial partner after the United States, as well as the second-largest market for Indian exports.
In addition to safeguarding value chains, the trade deal with the EU would assist India in further growing and diversifying its exports of products and services. Both parties desire broad-based, balanced, all-encompassing trade talks built on the values of reciprocity and fairness.