India, EU agree to expedite negotiations on FTA

New Delhi: India and the European Union on Tuesday emphasised the need for expediting the ongoing FTA negotiations by finding convergence on all issues after due consideration to mutual sensitivities, including on market access, for meaningful outcomes that would support the economies and employment on both sides.
Union Minister for Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal and Executive Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for an Economy that Works for People, and European Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis also affirmed their commitment to work together on common priorities for WTO reforms.
The issues were discussed during the bilateral meeting between the leaders of the two sides on the sidelines of the first ministerial meeting of the India-European Union Trade and Technology Council (TTC) in Brussels.
During the discussions, the two sides recalled the long-standing partnership between them and underlined the need to work together to deepen the association given their commitment to democracy and rule-based international systems.
Both sides recognised the need to build on their common goals to pursue consensus-based solutions that would support the livelihoods and food security for millions in India as well as in large parts of the developing world. They expressed hope that their joint efforts would enable finding meaningful solutions in the upcoming WTO ministerial conference.
At a roundtable, Goyal underscored that there must be a level playing field for both the developed and emerging economies while addressing global challenges such as climate issues. While India was committed to achieving its targets of net zero emissions, there should be meaningful contributions by all concerned and commitments made under the Paris agreement must be adhered to by all countries, he said.
He also expressed the hope that the mechanism of India-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) could emerge as an effective platform for finding solutions to these challenges.
The minister also noted that Indian and the EU share several common concerns with respect to WTO issues where their positions are largely aligned and therefore, through their collective efforts, could jointly contribute to finding consensus-based solutions in the upcoming WTO Ministerial Conference.

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