India’s Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal, has said that India will protect the interests of farmers and the dairy sector in the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union. During an official visit to Rome, Goyal emphasised India’s unique economic conditions and per capita income, but also highlighted the significant business opportunities India can offer to EU businesses. Goyal also attended the India-France business summit in Paris where Italy and France offered their support for the early conclusion of negotiations for the India-EU trade agreement.
The Chief negotiators of India and the European Union are scheduled to meet from June 19-23 in New Delhi for the fifth round of negotiations. 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. Top officials at the commerce secretary level will meet in August to review progress.
India’s merchandise exports to EU member countries stood at about $65 billion in 2021-22, while imports aggregated $51.4 billion. A Geographical Indication (GI) is a product originating from a definite geographical territory, conveying an assurance of quality and distinctiveness. Goyal added that India will not compromise on its interests.