The European Union is seeking to resume stalled trade negotiations with India when leaders meet in May, said the foreign minister of Portugal, that will host the next meeting.
The 27-nation bloc wants to restart talks on three agreements including protection of geographical indication, reciprocal investments and a pact to foster Indo-European trade, Santos Silva said at the Raisina Dialogue conference, a virtual event organized by the Indian foreign ministry and the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation.
The meeting between leaders of India and the EU is expected to produce guidelines for improving cooperation in connectivity, digital, mobility and climate action, he said.
“We are thinking very practically. This summit will be the starting point for further activities — diplomatic, political and for some improvement of economic ties between India and European Union,” Santos Silva said.
India and the bloc agreed to increase naval cooperation and security consultations in a July 2020 meeting. The EU is seeking to expand its ties with India and other Asian nations as it looks to broaden its value chains, said Santos Silva, while tensions with China continue to simmer over trade and maritime disputes.
The EU cannot accept any country limiting movement of maritime navigation, he said.
According to the European Commission, the EU accounted for USD 96 billion or 11% of India’s total trade in 2019, on par with the U.S. and ahead of China.