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EAEU and India began formal negotiations on a free trade agreement

EAEU and India began formal negotiations on a free trade agreement


Signing of the joint declaration on launching negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Republic of India was held at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, on June 3. The Member of the Board - Minister in charge of Trade of the EEC, Veronika Nikishina, signed the document for and on behalf of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC). The State Minister of Industry and Trade of India, Nirmala Sitharaman, signed it for India.  

In 2016 the joint group that conducted a study of the feasibility of the FTA Agreement completed its work. The analysis showed that mutual liberalization of the trade regime will lead to the GDP increase in all the EAEU countries and India already in the short term. In addition, according to expert estimates, when moving to a free trade regime, the turnover could grow by 30-40% in comparison with the current level depending on the depth of tariff liberalization to be achieved as a result of the negotiations.

"Today a new stage of relations between the EAEU and India starts. It will open additional opportunities for expanding trade and mutual investment, which need our economies," Veronika Nikishina said. “We have the ability to qualitatively develop cooperation. We will be able to create the necessary conditions for improving the competitiveness of our products in markets, strengthen cooperation, create incentives for establishing business dialogue in all economy sectors.”

In turn, Nirmala Sitharaman noted India's strong interest in concluding a FTA agreement. In her view, it will allow achieving maximum effect for the development of trade and economic cooperation between the EAEU and India.

The upcoming negotiations will cover a wide range of trade regulation topics, including customs administration, protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers in mutual trade and others.

Elimination of tariffs after the entry into force of the agreement will help increase agricultural product exports from the EAEU countries to India. This applies to cereals, vegetable oils, vegetables, beverage, including bottled mineral water. It also concerns exports of such products of industrial group like fertilizers, machinery and equipment, vehicles, some types of turbojet engines, salt, steel products, timber, chemicals, rubber, plastics.