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India and the European Union (EU) on Saturday concluded the fourth round of talks for a comprehensive free trade agreement in Brussels, a move aimed at further strengthening economic ties between the two sides. The next round of the talks is planned for 12-16 June here.

India and the 27-nation bloc resumed negotiations on June 17 last year after a gap of over eight years on the proposed agreements on trade, investments and Geographical Indications (GI).

“Round 4 of India EU-FTA negotiations held at Brussels,” Nidhi Mani Tripathi, Joint Secretary in the Department of Commerce has said in a tweet. She is India’s chief negotiator for the agreement.

India had started negotiations for a trade pact with the EU 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.

India’s merchandise exports to EU member countries stood at about USD 65 billion in 2021-22, while imports aggregated USD 51.4 billion.

A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory. Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.



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