8 years on, India, EU to negotiate FTA

New Delhi

India and the European Union have agreed to resume talks for a balanced, ambitious and comprehensive trade agreement and also launch negotiations for a stand-alone investment protection pact, the External Affairs Ministry said on Saturday.

The decisions were taken during a virtual summit between PM Modi and the heads of state or government of all the 27-member states of the bloc with a focus on expanding overall cooperation in areas of trade, investment and connectivity.

The two sides launched a sustainable and comprehensive connectivity partnership, the ministry said and described the summit as a “watershed” moment in the ties. The leaders exchanged views on the Covid-19 pandemic and healthcare cooperation.

The India-EU leaders’ meeting is hosted by PM of Portugal Antonio Costa. Portugal currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU.

“We are opening a new chapter in #EUIndia strategic partnership at the meeting of EU Leaders with PM @narendramodi,” tweeted Charles Michel, President of the European Council.

Modi was scheduled to visit Portugal for the leaders’ meeting but it was called and both sides decided to hold the deliberations virtually.

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