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India-EU Free Trade Agreement must be Fair, Equitable and Balanced: Piyush Goyal
Feb 21, 2024

India-EU Free Trade Agreement must be Fair, Equitable and Balanced - Piyush Goyal at the 2nd CII India Europe Business & Sustainability Conclave


“We believe that FTAs or bilateral agreements have to be fair, equitable and balanced. Countries across the globe need to recognise that India as a rapidly growing country, is poised to become a US$ 35 trillion economy by 2047,” stated Mr Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Government of India, at the Special Plenary Session of the 2nd CII India Europe Business and Sustainability Conclave, held by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi today. 

The Minister spoke about the past year of India’s G20 presidency as a successful year including the launch of both Global Biofuel Alliance and the India Middle-East Economic Corridor (IMEC), both of which will ensure growth and development across the globe, through transparent and fair trading systems.

Focussing on inclusivity and gender equality, Mr Goyal said, “The nation is working towards not only the growth of women, but also towards women-led development. As we collectively work towards expanding our international relations, we believe India with strong macroeconomic fundamentals and a large aspirational pool of young talent will continue to expand rapidly.”

“Today we have a new sense of enthusiasm to manufacture in India, to design and innovate in India, to become a hub of economic activity for other parts of the world. We are for an India with a conducive business climate where we focus on ease of doing business, reducing compliances and working in partnership with businesses across the world with a very strong and robust regulatory mechanism in place,” he added.

The minister spoke about the plethora of opportunities in the various sectors across India. Be it modern technology, sustainability, RE, or circular economy, India is unlocking new frontiers and expanding our footprint across the globe. He specifically mentioned the pharmaceutical sector, where India can go on to become the Pharmacy of the World in a much bigger way by providing affordable medicines to the rest of the world.

At the session HE Mr Juraj Blanár, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Slovak Republic stated, “Slovakia, as a member of the EU, is interested in deepening the EU-India strategic partnership. The priority for the Slovak Republic is to see the successful conclusion of a well-rounded FTA, the Investment Protection Agreement and the agreement on Geographical Indications. The EU-India Trade and Technology Council also plays an important role in our bilateral relationship focusing on strategic technology, connectivity, and green energy as well as promoting bilateral trade and investment.”

H E Mr Krišjanis Karinš, Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Republic of Latvia said, “Latvia is part of the European Union and of the 450 million people market and has been building up a resilient and dynamic economy. Lativa has many companies which are strong in the fields of digital, electronics, renewables, robotics, space industry, etc. and are looking for partnerships outside and Latvia is also very interested in furthering ties with India as part of the general European initiative.”

H E Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary said, “We would like to start the negotiations on FTA between EU and India which would be to the mutual benefit of both sides and about the investment protection agreement and the agreement on protecting the geographical indicators.”

H.E. Dr. Martin Kocher, Federal Minister of Labour and Economy, the Republic of Austria, also spoke at the plenary session and highlighted, “I hope to see the two democratic partners forging a deep and wide relationship across the economic, technological, and political spectrum, as well as in sports, to provide stability in an unpredictable world." 

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State (Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, United Nations and the Commonwealth), Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, United Kingdom stressed, "When we look at our relationship, we define it by our people and the people-to-people relationships we have. This is the most powerful component of our relationship. Indian companies in the UK employ more than 100,000 people and have a turnover of more than 50 billion pounds per year.”

HE Mr Wladyslaw Teofil Bartoszewski, Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Poland said, “India is the 2nd biggest location for Polish direct investments in Asia. Similarly, Poland is a country with great business opportunities for Indian entrepreneurs and investors."

HE Dr Tobias Lindner, Minister of State, Federal Foreign Office, Federal Republic of Germany said that India & Germany are working hand in hand to tackle climate change and to achieve sustainable growth & development. He added that ongoing negotiations for EU -India FTA holds immense potential to amplify trade & foster economic integration.

Mr R Dinesh, President, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) & Chairman, TVS Supply Chain Solutions Ltd highlighted 4 specific areas of opportunities between the two economies including green hydrogen corridor, economic cooperation, circular economy, and technology sector. 

Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII stressed upon the focus areas in India Europe relations including telecom and smart manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, climate, sustainability, and renewable energy, as well as development of technology and innovation hubs due to India's technological prowess.


21 February 2024

New Delhi

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