The proposed free trade agreement with the European Union, when implemented, will provide greater market access for several domestic sectors such as textiles, leather and sports goods in the EU market, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday. After a gap of over eight years, India and the EU on June 17 formally resumed negotiations for agreements on trade, investments and Geographical Indications (GI).
The next round of negotiations will take place from June 27 till July 1 here. India had started negotiations for a trade pact, dubbed the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), with the 27-country economic bloc in 2007, but the talks stalled in 2013 as both sides failed to reach an agreement on key issues, including customs duties on automobiles and spirits, and the movement of professionals.
Goyal said that the EU is a large market with 27 countries which are prosperous. It is one of the largest trading blocs, having a big share of the world's market. "It will open the doors, we believe, to our textiles, leather, pharma, sports goods, some agri products, handicrafts, handlooms. All this will get a bigger market. Our exports will increase," he told reporters here.
EU, he said, has strength in modern technologies, high-end precision equipment and "we will get the benefit of their modern technologies". In the services sector also, both sides would get an opportunity to support each other and expand trade.
"We will get a larger flow of investments from Europe. It will be a win-win for both the countries," he added. India's merchandise exports to EU member countries stood at about USD 65 billion in 2021-22, while imports aggregated to USD 51.4 billion.