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Business News/ News / India/  India negotiates trade, investment agreements with fairness: Goyal

India negotiates trade, investment agreements with fairness: Goyal

The minister's comments assume significance at a time when India is negotiating FTAs with countries such as the UK, Oman and the European Union

Union commerce minister Piyush Goyal.Premium
Union commerce minister Piyush Goyal.

New Delhi: India negotiates trade and investment agreements with fairness and an open mind and takes care of the interest of its people, said union commerce minister Piyush Goyal as the seventh round of India-EU FTA talks started.

This assumes significance at a time when India is negotiating free trade agreements (FTAs) with the UK, Oman and the European Union. An Indian delegation led by commerce secretary Sunil Barthwal is in the UK for talks, including on some sticky issues like visas for Indian professionals.

The dialogue between India and the EU is focused on an investment protection agreement (IPA) and a pact on geographical indications (GIs). The seventh round of trade negotiations started on 19 February.

The minister said countries that are negotiating free trade deals and investment pacts with India should keep in mind that New Delhi offers a huge market to them in terms of demand and business opportunities.

“Over the next 30 years, India will offer to the world a very young population. This large pool of talent and skill manpower is going to provide opportunities, demand and demographic dividends," the minister said at the CII India-Europe conclave on Wednesday.

Focusing on inclusivity and gender equality, Goyal said, “The nation is working towards not only the growth of women, but also towards women-led development."

As we collectively work towards expanding our international relations, we believe India with strong macroeconomic fundamentals and a large aspirational pool of young talent will continue to expand rapidly, he said.

Key issues of India-EU FTA talks will include India's trade disputes at the World Trade Organization regarding products like mobile phones and components, as well as integrated circuits and optical instruments.

Geographical indications GIs are a key agenda item and both sides are aiming to advance discussions in this area. According to the EU's website, these bilateral agreements aim for substantial advancements in the protection of geographical indications, enhancing GI safeguards within the trade partner's territory to a standard akin to that upheld by the EU.

During the sixth round of talks between the EU and India in October 2023, progress was made in 18 out of 23 chapters. The seventh round will see the EU delegation visit India in batches.

At the session minister of foreign affairs of Slovakia Juraj Blanár said that Slovakia, as a member of the EU, is interested in deepening the EU-India strategic partnership.

The priority for the Slovak Republic is to see the successful conclusion of a well-rounded FTA, the Investment Protection Agreement and the agreement on Geographical Indications, Blanár said.

The EU is a major export destination for India, second only to the US. However, non-tariff barriers have contributed to a decline in India's goods exports to the bloc over the past two decades. An FTA could reduce duties and address barriers affecting Indian agricultural exports.



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Published: 21 Feb 2024, 11:05 PM IST
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