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India, France hope India-EU trade pact to conclude before 2024

India and France on Wednesday hoped for the conclusion of the proposed free trade agreement between India and European Union before 2024, an official statement said.

India and the EU (European Union) bloc are due to reopen FTA (Free Trade Agreement) talks in Brussels on June 17, the commerce ministry said in a statement.

The issue came up for discussions during the meeting between a French delegation with minister of state for commerce and industry Som Parkash.

A four-member French delegation led by Special Representative for Bilateral Economic Relations Paul Hermelin called on the minister of state here on Wednesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Hermelin said France is keen to pursue the FTA negotiations between European Union and India.

“Both sides hoped to conclude the agreement before 2024. The pact will pave the way for India to give a boost to trade with the 27-member nation EU bloc, subject to ratification by both sides including the European Parliament,” the ministry said.

Parkash highlighted India’s priorities ahead of the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) of the WTO (World Trade Organisation) to be held in Geneva next week.

The minister also sought support of the government of France for India’s proposal seeking TRIPS (Trade related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) waiver in view of the global fight against the Covid pandemic.

He also pointed out India’s stance on WTO negotiations related to e-commerce and the moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions that are due to expire in the run up to the MC12. Business Standard

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