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EU, India agree to restart trade talks

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-05-08 22:26

BERLIN - The European Union (EU) and India have agreed to resume the talks on a free trade agreement that were stopped in 2013, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during the virtual EU-India summit on Saturday.

"I'm looking forward to restarting the negotiations," said von der Leyen shortly before a video conference between the heads of state and government of the EU states with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two sides will also discuss an investment protection treaty and geographical indication protection.

Von der Leyen noted that between the EU and India "there's a close relationship but also a lot of untapped potential," most of which is in trade and investment.

With a population of more than 1.3 billion, India is currently the second-most populous country in the world after China, and the tenth-largest trading partner for the EU.

In 2007, the EU and India began discussions on a broad trade and investment agreement that included more market access and fewer tariffs. However, several disagreements such as Indian tariffs on cars and wine as well as labor market restrictions for Indians by the EU brought the negotiations to an end in 2013.

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