What European Union Envoy Said On Trade Deal With India


India-EU Trade Deal: The first round of talks will be held in June, the envoy said.

New Delhi:

EU Ambassador Ugo Astuto on Friday said India and the European Union are eyeing to firm up the comprehensive trade and investment agreements before the commencement of the electoral cycles on both sides in 2024.

His comments came weeks before the resumption of the stalled negotiations for the agreements by the two sides.ย  Separately, Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Christian Kettel Thomsen said the bank intends to double its annual investments in India from the current 500 million Euro in the next two years.

Astuto said there was no plan to have an interim trade pact and both sides are looking at concluding a full-fledged “comprehensive and ambitious” free trade agreement.

“The first round of talks will be held in June and we hope to have a couple of rounds before the end of the year,” he told reporters.

Astuto said both sides are looking at concluding the negotiations before the start of the next parliamentary elections in India and the EU.

Lok Sabha elections are scheduled to be held in India in the first half of 2024. The European parliamentary elections are also slated for the same year.

Issues relating to the negotiations for the long-pending trade and investment agreements had figured during European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s recent visit to India.

In May last year, India and the European Union (EU) announced to resume negotiations for a balanced and comprehensive trade agreement after a gap of over eight years.

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