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    First Meeting of India-EU Trade and Technology Council to Take Place in Brussels on May 16th

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    India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, along with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar, will co-chair the first ministerial level meeting of India-European Union Trade and Technology Council (TTC) on May 16 in Brussels. The meeting will discuss ways to increase cooperation in strategic technologies, digital connectivity, clean energy, trade, and investments. Three working groups under the mechanism will report on roadmaps for future cooperation between the two sides. The first ministerial meeting will lay the roadmap for cooperation under all three working groups and provide direction to achieve desired outcomes before the next ministerial meeting in the coming year.

    During the high-level meetings with senior leadership of the European Union as well as Belgium, various issues will come up for discussions, including ongoing negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), addressing issues of mutual market access, reforms in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The formation of the TTC was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission in April 2022 with the objective of creating a high-level coordination platform to tackle strategic challenges at the nexus of trade, trusted technology, and security.

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    Goyal will also have a bilateral meeting with EVP Dombrovskis followed by stakeholder consultations in the presence of business leaders from both sides. He would also participate in a meeting which would involve a discussion over the economic footprint of Belgium enterprises in India along with further plans of investments in India. Besides, the three Indian ministers would also call on the Belgian prime minister as well as the president of the European Commission.

    India had started negotiations for a trade pact with the EU in 2007, but the talks stalled in 2013 as both sides failed to reach an agreement on key issues. India’s merchandise exports to EU member countries stood at about USD 65 billion in 2021-22, while imports aggregated at USD 51.4 billion. In 2022-23, the exports aggregated at USD 67 billion, while imports stood at USD 54.4 billion in the last fiscal. The EU accounts for a 16.4 per cent share in India’s exports and about an 8.3 per cent share in imports in the last financial year.

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