New Delhi: India and the European Union (EU) discussed on Tuesday, Oct 19, issues related to the resumption of negotiations for a free trade agreement and joint strategies to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
This was stated in a Joint Press Release after the India-EU Strategic Partnership Review meet between two sides in Brussels.
This was the third India-EU Strategic Partnership Review meet.
It may be stated that negotiations on a trade agreement had stalled during the erstwhile UPA regime in 2013 because of differences in issues such as mobility for Indian professionals and market access for European products.
The release said that both sides exchanged views concerning the best ways to join forces in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on economies, societies, and individuals.
"Following the India-EU Leaders' Meeting of May 8 2021, which set a clear path for further deepening ties between India and the EU, the meeting allowed for a comprehensive review of the Strategic India-EU Partnership, guided by the India-EU Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025."
The release said the discussions focused notably on cooperation in addressing the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, and contributing to the success of the upcoming Climate COP26.
"India and the EU also discussed next steps to operationalise the decision of Indian and EU Leaders to resume negotiations for a balanced, ambitious, comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreement and launch negotiations on a stand-alone investment protection agreement and on a separate agreement on geographical indications."
They also discussed the next steps to implement the India-EU Connectivity Partnership, which was agreed in the May 2021 Leaders' Meeting.
India and the EU also discussed ways to further cooperate in research, technology and digital transformation, as well as continued implementation of the Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility.
Recalling the successful 9th India-EU Human Rights Dialogue in April 2021, India and the EU looked forward to the next edition of the Dialogue in 2022.
The meeting was co-chaired by Reenat Sandhu, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs and Helena König, Deputy Secretary-General for Economic and Global Issues, European External Action Service.
Since May this year, the India-EU FTA prospects have looked up as new geopolitical realities have led both sides, India and the European Union, to get closer by facilitating enhanced trade and investment.