Finance Minster met EU delegation to discuss FTA, other issues

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met with an EU group led by MEP Bernd Lange on Tuesday to discuss areas of common interest, including the India-EU trade agreement. In the post-pandemic period, India and the EU can work together to strengthen international rule-based order as two of the world's greatest open market economies and pluralistic societies, the finance ministry said in a tweet.

"Finance Minister Smt @nsitharaman and Mr @berndlange agreed that there is a desire to move forward on India-EU negotiations on the Bilateral Investment Treaty, Free Trade Agreement, and Geographical Indications Agreement," the ministry said in a separate message. Both sides agreed that synergized cooperation between India and the EU can help build strong global value chains with transparent, viable, inclusive, and rules-based interlinkages, according to the statement.

There hasn't been any progress on the EU-US free trade agreement. The Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) has been on hold since May 2013 since both parties have yet to resolve significant differences on key subjects. The projected BTIA negotiations, which began in June 2007, have encountered numerous roadblocks, with both sides disagreeing on crucial matters like as intellectual property rights, tariff reductions in vehicles and spirits, and a flexible immigration policy. The two parties must work out their differences in terms of professional mobility.

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