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What is the News?
India and the European Union are set to hold an initial round of negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement(FTA) in June with the aim of concluding an FTA by late 2023 or early 2024.
Note: EU is the third-largest trading partner for India after the US and China.
India-EU Free Trade Agreement(FTA) Negotiations
India had initiated negotiations for an FTA with the EU in 2007, but the talks stalled in 2013 as both sides failed to reach an agreement on key issues including intellectual property rights, duties on automobiles and spirits, and the movement of professionals.
In May 2021, India and the EU decided to resume FTA negotiations. They are aiming to conclude an FTA by late 2023 or early 2024.
For this, they have also decided to establish the Trade and Technology Council.
What is the Trade and Technology Council?
Established by: India and the European Union
Purpose: To allow India and the EU to address challenges in trade, trusted technology and security and deepening cooperation in these fields.
The council will also provide the political steer and necessary structure to operationalise political decisions, coordinate technical work and report to the political level to ensure implementation and follow-up in areas that are important for the sustainable progress of European and Indian economies.
Significance: The decision to set up such a council will be the first for India with any of its partners and the second for the EU, following the first one with the US.
Source: The post is based on the article “India and EU comprehensive free trade deal to be finalized by 2024” published in Business Standard on 29th April 2022.