India-EU conclude first round of trade negotiations

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

India’s FTA negotiations were led by Chief Negotiator Nidhi Mani Tripathi, joint secretary, Department of Commerce and EU by its chief negotiator,  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 commerce minister Piyush Goyal and European Commission’s Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis in Brussels last month.
India’s bilateral trade with EU amounted to $116.36 billion in 2021-22. Despite the pandemic-led global disruptions, bilateral trade achieved an impressive annual growth of 43.5 per cnt in 2021-22. Currently, EU is India’s second largest trading partner after the US, and the second largest destination for Indian exports. The trade agreement with 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.