FM meets EU delegation to discuss FTA

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday met an EU delegation led by Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Bernd Lange and discussed issues of mutual interests, including the India-EU trade pact.

As two of the largest open market economies and pluralistic societies, India and the EU can work towards a partnership that promotes international rule-based order in the post-pandemic period, the finance ministry said in a tweet.

“Finance Minister Smt @nsitharaman and Mr @berndlange agreed that there is keenness to move ahead on India-EU negotiations with Bilateral Investment Treaty, Free Trade Agreement and Geographical Indications Agreement,” the ministry said in another tweet.

Both sides underlined that synergised cooperation between India and the EU can harness opportunities to deliver on strong global value chains with transparent, viable, inclusive and rules-based inter-linkages, it said.

There has not been much forward movement on the FTA with the EU. The Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) has been held up since May 2013 as both sides are yet to bridge substantial gaps on crucial issues.