India, EU Conclude First Round Of Negotiations For Free Trade Pact

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New Delhi: India and the European Union concluded the first round of negotiations for India-EU Trade and Investment Agreements, including the Geographical Indicators (GI), in New Delhi.

India’s FTA negotiations were led by Chief Negotiator Ms Nidhi Mani Tripathi, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce and EU was represented by its Chief Negotiator, Mr Christophe Kiener.

The week-long negotiations were held in a hybrid fashion – with some of the teams meeting in Delhi and the majority of officials joining virtually hybrid fashion. During this Round, 52 technical Sessions covering 18 policy areas of FTA and 7 Sessions on Investment Protection and GIs were held.

The second round of negotiations is scheduled to take place in September 2022 in Brussels.

The negotiations were launched by Shri Piyush Goyal Minister for Commerce & Industry and European Commission’s Executive Vice President Mr Valdis Dombrovskis in Brussels last month.

India’s bilateral trade with the EU amounted to USD 116.36 billion in 2021-22. Despite the global disruptions, bilateral trade achieved impressive annual growth of 43.5% in 2021-22.  Currently, the EU is India’s second-largest trading partner after the US and the second-largest destination for Indian exports.

The trade agreement with the EU would help India in further expanding and diversifying its exports of goods and services, including securing the value chains.

Both sides are aiming for the trade negotiations to be broad-based, balanced, and comprehensive, based on the principles of fairness and reciprocity.

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