EU Ambassador Ugo Astuto said on Friday that India and the European Union are looking to consolidate comprehensive trade and investment agreements before the start of election cycles on both sides in 2024.
His comments came weeks before stalled negotiations for the deals were resumed by the two sides.
Separately, European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Christian Kettel Thomsen said the bank intends to double its annual investment in India from the current 500 million euros over the next few years. next two years.
Astuto said there were no plans to strike an interim trade pact and that the two sides were considering a full-fledged “comprehensive and ambitious” free trade deal.
“The first round of talks will take place in June and we hope to have a few rounds before the end of the year,” he told reporters.
Astuto said the two sides plan to conclude the negotiations before the start of the upcoming parliamentary elections in India and the EU.
Lok Sabha elections are due to be held in India in the first half of 2024. European parliamentary elections are also scheduled for the same year.
Issues relating to the long-outstanding trade and investment agreement negotiations featured prominently during European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s recent visit to India.
In May last year, India and the European Union (EU) announced the resumption of negotiations for a balanced and comprehensive trade agreement after a hiatus of more than eight years.
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