At India-EU summit, trade deal remains elusive
A free trade deal that India and the European Union have been planning since 2007 remained elusive at the 15th India-EU summit on Wednesday.
At the end of the virtual summit, India said there is no deadline for the free trade agreement, officially called the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement.
“There is no time frame set for the conclusion of the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) but both sides have agreed that the two ministers mandated to take the discussions forward should meet as early as possible,” Vikas Swarup, Secy (West), Ministry of External Affairs said.
“EU is our largest trading partner for goods with trade exceeding $100 billion. We also have a large services trade of approximately $40 billion,” Swarup said.
The EU is also one of the largest investors in India with cumulative investment of over $91 billion.
Trade and investment were the main focus of the 15th India-EU summit. India was represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the EU by Charles Michel — president of the European Council and Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission.
In the India-EU summit in Delhi two years ago, the two sides could not close the gaps either.
In his inaugural remarks at the summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched for adopting a long-term strategic perspective with regards to India’s cooperation with the EU, through an action-oriented agenda that can be fulfilled within a stipulated time.