India and the European Union (EU) propose to expedite negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) soon. Broad contours of the FTA were discussed between Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani at a meeting in Rome yesterday.
The two ministers expressed satisfaction at the high growth in bilateral trade between India and Italy, which has reached around $16 billion in 2022 and resolved to expand it further. Goyal briefed Tajani on the progress made on the India-EU FTA negotiation.
The two sides underlined the importance of achieving a free, balanced and fair FTA. They also agreed to the convening of the next session of the Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation (JCEC) in Rome in the last week of September 2023.
The two ministers exchanged views on how the India-Italy trade and economic partnership could be leveraged for growth across diverse sectors. During the meeting, the two ministers expressed happiness over the elevation of the bilateral relations to the level of strategic partnership following the recent state visit of Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni to India.
Tajani suggested the formation of a Joint Working Group in strategic areas such as space, technology, defence, agriculture, etc., to follow up on the important developments in these areas.
Tajani suggested strengthening the Parliamentary friendship group diplomacy between the Parliaments of the two countries and exploring the scope for having a cyber dialogue. Goyal briefed Tajani on India’s G20 priorities and extended an invitation to him for the G20 Trade Ministers’ Meeting in India in August.
Goyal emphasised enhancing bilateral cooperation in the field of clean energy to achieve sustainability to mitigate the negative impact of climate change.