The European Union (EU) and India relaunched negotiations for a trade agreement on Saturday, which had been abandoned in 2013, announced the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, after a summit of all parties.
“We have agreed to launch negotiations and mutually reinforce trade agreements,” Michel said at the end of a summit that brought together the leaders of European institutions, the 27 countries of the bloc and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a teleconference.
In a Joint Declaration, the EU and India announced the decision to “resume negotiations for a trade agreement that is balanced, ambitious, comprehensive and mutually beneficial, that can respond to current challenges.”
In order to “create the necessary positive dynamism for these negotiations”, the parties considered it “imperative to find solutions to persistent market access problems.”
The parties also agreed to start negotiations for a separate investment protection agreement.
The EU-India summit also discussed the current coronavirus pandemic and the current situation in India.
“We stand firmly with India at the moment. We have assured the Prime Minister of our solidarity and our support with whatever he needs,” said the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
EU countries have already sent emergency medical aid worth around 100 million euros ($ 121 million) to India, in the face of an Indian health system totally collapsed due to the high number of covid-19 cases.