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India discuss trade, investments, FTA issues with EU

New Delhi , PTI:Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and European Union Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstr m on Thursday met in Paris and discussed various issues including possibility of resuming the long stalled FTA negotiations.

Both the ministers met on the sidelines of an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris.

According to a source, both the sides have deliberated upon ways to promote trade and investments besides the proposed Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) and WTO related issues.

Started in June 2007, the negotiations for the proposed BTIA have seen many hurdles with both sides having major differences on crucial issues like intellectual property rights, duty cut in automobile and spirits, and liberal visa regime.

Before this meeting, senior officials from both the sides had met twice so far this year to resolve the contentious issues.

Sitharaman had recently said: “We want to work with the EU. We want to sign that agreement. We shall move forward and talk.”

Malmstr m in her tweet said that she has met Sitharaman and “discussed EU-India trade and investment negotiations + WTO agenda”.

Further the Indian minister also held bilateral meetings with her counterparts including the Trade Minister of Canada and New Zealand.

“Discussed strengthening bilateral ties and issues touching CECA (comprehensive economic cooperation agreement), RCEP (regional comprehensive economic partnership) and TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) with Mcclay-Trade Minister, New Zealand,” Sitharaman said in her tweet.

Sitharaman also attended an informal WTO meeting on key trade ministers there.

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