India and the European Union (EU) concluded their fourth round of talks for a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) in Brussels on March 18, tweeted Nidhi Mani Tripathi, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce and India’s chief negotiator for the agreement. The next round of talks is planned for June 12-16.
India had started negotiations for a trade pact with the 27-nation bloc of EU in 2007, but the talks stalled in 2013 as both sides failed to reach an agreement on key issues, including customs duties on automobiles and spirits and the movement of professionals. The two sides resumed negotiations on June 17, 2022 after a gap of over eight years on the proposed agreements on trade, investments and Geographical Indications (GIs).
India’s merchandise exports to EU member countries stood at about USD 65 billion in 2021-22, while imports aggregated USD 51.4 billion.
A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory. Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.