The European Union and India on Friday relaunched negotiations to forge a free trade agreement, with the aim of completing talks by the end of 2023.
“This partnership will become a defining moment for world trade in the 21st century,” Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal told a news conference.
The two sides previously launched talks in 2007, but they were frozen in 2013 due to lack of progress. EU and Indian leaders agreed in May 2021 to resume negotiations.
EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said the free trade agreement would cover “essentially all trade”, in line with World Trade Organisation standards, including sectors such as automotives and spirits.
“For the European Union, the partnership with India is one of the most important relationships for the upcoming decade”, Dombrovskis said.
The next round of negotiations is scheduled to take place in New Delhi from June 27 to July 1.
The two sides will also hold separate discussions to create agreements to protect investment and region-specific agri-food product names such as champagne or feta cheese, known as geographical indications.