Mint | 12 April 2023
Goyal, France’s Becht discuss India-EU FTA
by Saurav Anand
New Delhi: Trade minister Piyush Goyal discussed the progress on the India-EU free trade agreement with his French counterpart Olivier Becht, the commerce ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
Goyal was in Paris to attend India-France Business Summit and CEOs roundtable meet. He held bilateral meetings with several CEOs.
“The ministers discussed priority areas related to India - EU FTA (free trade agreement) negotiations where issues related to market access were deliberated," according to the statement.
On 17 June 2022, India and the EU relaunched negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement, and launched separate negotiations for an Investment Protection Agreement and an Agreement on Geographical Indications (GIs).
Goyal highlighted that India was looking to buy 2,000 commercial aircraft over the next 10 years and there is a huge opportunity to manufacture such aircraft in India to meet domestic and international demand.
With the purchase of Rafale and the recent Airbus order, more value has been added to this partnership, he added.
Becht said that bilateral trade totalled $15.1 billion in 2021-22, doubling in the last decade, and foreign direct investment (FDI) has been at $10 billion from France which is a top foreign investor in India.
French companies are keen on investing in India, he added.
Goyal said that by breaking language barriers trade can be expanded. He invited Becht to India along with the French community on the sidelines of G20 trade ministers meet in August 2023.
In the CEOs roundtable, more than 50 CEOs from Indian and French companies had participated.