Proposed free trade deal with EU will be a ‘game-changer’ for India, says Jaishankar
The proposed free trade agreement with the EU will be a ‘game changer’ for India, says Jaishankar
NEW DELHI: India expects its proposed free trade agreement with the European Union to be a “game changer” and hopes for a mutually beneficial outcome to the negotiation process for the agreement “within a short planned timeframe”, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said on Tuesday.
Addressing an event at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Jaishankar said Europe and India can strengthen each other’s strategic autonomy by reducing dependencies, collaborating on critical technologies and ensuring supply chain restructuring.
“We expect the India-EU FTA to be a game changer for the India-EU relationship. We look forward to a mutually beneficial, mutually beneficial outcome to the negotiation process within a reasonably short planned timeframe,” he said.
In June last year, India and the European Union resumed negotiations for a long-pending trade and investment agreement after a gap of more than eight years. Launched in June 2007, negotiations for the proposed treaty have hit several hurdles as the two sides have had major differences on key issues.
“India’s new approach to trade deals addresses issues of non-tariff and back-border barriers, quality standards and related criteria,” Jaishankar said.
“With like-minded partners, we have demonstrated rapid turnaround in our FTA negotiation processes in recent years.
FTAs with the UAE and Australia were actually completed in record time,” he said.
Behind-the-border barriers are non-tariff discriminatory trade barriers within a country.
“Europe and India can strengthen each other’s strategic autonomy by reducing dependencies; collaborating on critical technologies; and ensuring supply chain realignment. Hence, an India-European Union FTA is our most important goal,” Jaishankar said.
The Foreign Minister said the recently unveiled Trade and Technology Council (TTC) will provide framework and strategic direction for the partnership between the two sides.
The TTC is expected to facilitate the exchange of important technologies related to various domains including artificial intelligence, quantum computing, semiconductors and cyber security.
The TTC with India is the EU’s second technical partnership after the first with the US, which was confirmed in June 2021.
“I would like to say that India’s ties with Europe are stronger and deeper than ever and this event is a testimony to that commitment,” Jaishankar said.
“Between us, we have the largest democratic and free market place in the world. The business communities of India and Europe have a huge role to play and an enabling role in this transformation,” he said.