Next round of India-EU FTA talks in Brussels in September

India and the European Union concluded the first round of negotiations on the draft free trade agreement (FTA) on Friday and the next round of talks is scheduled to take place in Brussels in September, the trade ministry said on Saturday.

India and the 27-nation bloc resumed on June 17, after a hiatus of more than eight years, proposed agreements on trade, investment and geographical indications (GIs). The first round of talks, which began on June 27, ended on July 1.

India’s FTA negotiations were led by chief negotiator Nidhi Mani Tripathi, co-secretary at the trade ministry and the EU was represented by its chief negotiator Christophe Kiener, the ministry said in a statement.

The week-long negotiations took place in a hybrid fashion – with some of the teams meeting in Delhi and the majority of officials joining virtually.

During the first round, 52 technical sessions covering 18 FTA policy areas and seven sessions on investment protection and GIs were held, he added.

India’s bilateral trade with the EU stood at $116.36 billion in 2021-2022.

Currently, the EU is India’s second largest trading partner after the United States and the second largest destination for Indian exports.

“The trade agreement with the EU would help India further develop and diversify its exports of goods and services, including by securing value chains. Both sides want the trade negotiations to be broad, balanced and comprehensive, based on the principles of equity and reciprocity,” he added.

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