India and the European Union concluded the first round of negotiations on India-EU Trade and Investment Agreements, including Geographical Indicators (GIs), in New Delhi last night. The week-long negotiations were conducted in a hybrid fashion – with some of the teams meeting in Delhi and the majority of officials joining in a virtually hybrid fashion. During the last cycle, 52 technical sessions covering 18 FTA policy areas and 7 sessions on investment protection and GIs were organised.
India’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations were led by Chief Negotiator Nidhi Mani Tripathi, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce and the EU was represented by its Chief Negotiator, Christophe Kiener . The second round of negotiations should take place in September 2022 in Brussels.
The negotiations were launched by Piyush Goyal, Minister of Trade and Industry and Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, in Brussels last month.
India’s bilateral trade with the EU stood at $116.36 billion in 2021-2022. Despite the global disruptions, bilateral trade recorded an impressive annual growth of 43.5% in 2021-22. The EU is India’s second largest trading partner after the United States and the second largest destination for Indian exports. The trade deal with India would help India further develop and diversify its exports of goods and services, including by securing value chains. Both parties want trade negotiations to be broad, balanced and comprehensive, based on the principles of equity and reciprocity.