EU turns to India amid energy, food crisis as free trade agreement set to become more fruitful than ever


The new free trade agreement negotiations can accomplish what appeared to be impossible nine years ago as India and the EU celebrate 60 years of bilateral relations. The FTA talks between India and the EU began in 2007, however they were suspended in 2013. However, in a post on the Europe Asia Foundation, Kathleen Van Brempt – a member of the European Parliament – has claimed that the present talks between India and the EU would be successful.

The EU should strengthen its ties with India for a variety of reasons. India is the largest democracy in the world and a significant ally. It is near to both China and Russia and is situated in the centre of the crucial Indo-Pacific area from a strategic standpoint. India’s geopolitical importance cannot be overstated, according to Brempt’s article.

There are around 6,000 European businesses in India. In a variety of industries, these enterprises provide 1.7 million direct jobs and 5 million indirect jobs.

India, the fastest-growing emerging economy, is a sizable and active market. According to the IMF, India’s projected yearly GDP growth rate is over 8%. India is the tenth-largest commercial partner of the EU in terms of trade. India’s third-largest commercial partner is the EU.

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The globe is currently experiencing both an energy and a food crisis. The importance of climate change is rising. All of these problems make it much more important and critical for relations between the EU and India to be strengthened.

Since 2005, India and the EU have been strategic allies. The COVID epidemic has presented many difficulties. It caused supply chains to further expand and diversify. The war in Eastern Europe is also causing changes in the global order of things.

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In June 2022, India and the EU began implementing an Investment Protection Agreement and a Geographical Indications Agreement. It is a sign of rekindled political zeal on both sides to advance political and business ties. According to Brempt, both of these actions should be commended, according to the Europe Asia Foundation.

The value chains of European corporations still have a lot of untapped potential for India, according to MEP Brempt. Both sides have different expectations on market access.

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India currently imposes tariffs of 60–100% on important exports to the EU, including wine and autos. To increase market access, the EU will push for lower tariffs. As part of its goal to establish itself as a global industrial centre and a regional power, India wants to develop closer commercial ties with the EU.

(With ANI inputs)

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