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India and European Commission to hold trade talks


India and European Commission to hold trade talks

Photo: Francisco Seco/Pool via Reuters

Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal will hold a virtual conference today with European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis.

The conference will test whether India and the EU can overcome differences that have previously delayed bilateral trade and investment agreements. In 2013, trade talks between Brussels and New Delhi stalled over disagreements in intellectual property rights and European concerns regarding whether India had adequate security infrastructure to protect personal data.

Resumed negotiations would represent a triumph for Portugal—the nation currently helming the EU Council—as it has prioritized strengthening the bloc’s ties with India. The announcement of re-launched agreement negotiations will come before the upcoming India-EU Summit on May 8.

Today’s discussion will likely attempt to lay the groundwork for reviving trade negotiations. Expect improved business cooperation to help Brussels and New Delhi diversify strategic value chains in technology and reduce economic dependency on China. One of the main goals under deliberation includes bilateral construction of infrastructure projects in Africa and the Indo-Pacific region to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative. In the long-term, expect further collaboration from the EU and India on projects like railways and energy plants, in order to better connect the Indo-Pacific and Africa with Europe.

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