India will hold bilateral meetings with Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union to discuss free trade agreements (FTAs) on the sidelines of the upcoming G20 trade and investment ministers’ meeting, Indian Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal said on Friday.
The G20 trade ministers’ meeting is also likely to cover trade and WTO reforms, Barthwal said. “This G20 ministerial meeting will also be useful for us to conduct all the important bilaterals related to the FTAs. UK is coming with its team…. there will also be discussions on what we have done so far with Canada,” he added.
Canada and India have concluded nine rounds of negotiations on the FTA so far, after talks were reinstated in March 2022. The countries have discussed a varied set of remedies to promote trade growth, and intend to close negotiations as soon as possible.
Earlier in May, India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and his Canadian counterpart, Mary Ng met in Ottawa and released a joint statement affirming that India and Canada aim to seal an initial agreement this year to increase their trade and expand investment.
Over 300 delegates from G20 members are scheduled to meet from August 24-25 for the Trade and Investment Ministerial meeting in India’s Jaipur.
Among others, France, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey, UK, USA and EU have confirmed their participation in the meeting.
A free trade agreement improves trade relations between countries by reducing or removing tariffs and other restrictions to promote freer international trade. Canada currently has 15 trade agreements in force with over 40 countries around the world, according to PF Collins, a Canadian provider of integrated international trade.