India and EU recommence talks on bilateral trade

Wednesday, 17 February 2021 14:05:40 (GMT+3)   |   Kolkata

India and the European Union (EU) have restarted negotiations on a bilateral trade and investment agreement (BTIA), focusing initially on concluding an interim agreement before finalizing the signing of a final long-term agreement, a government official said on Wednesday, February 17.

According to a government statement, India’s Minister of Commerce, Piyush Goel, and EU Trade Commissioner, Valdis Dombrovskis, held a high-level dialogue last week as the first step towards re-initiation of a bilateral trade and investment agreement.

However, considering that negotiations on such an agreement first initiated in 2007 had hit several hurdles, the focus in the fresh talks is on concluding an interim agreement and then to work on finer details towards a formal and long-term agreement  India-EU BTIA, the official said.

A trade agreement between India and the EU was first mooted in 2007, but was abandoned in 2014, as both sides failed to arrive at a consensus on opening up specific industrial and farm sectors on a reciprocal basis. However, in July 2020, the two sides decided to restart talks through a high-level delegation of the two sides, the official added.

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