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India and EU Discuss Agricultural Policies and Market Access in High-Level Meeting

The meeting between the delegates of India and EU concluded on a positive note, with a shared optimism for the continued growth of the India-EU agricultural partnership.

Shivam Dwivedi
India and EU Discuss Agricultural Policies and Market Access in High-Level Meeting (Photo Source: Shobha Karandlaje/twitter)
India and EU Discuss Agricultural Policies and Market Access in High-Level Meeting (Photo Source: Shobha Karandlaje/twitter)

Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Ms. Shobha Karandlaje, and Mr. Janusz Wojciechowski, European Commissioner for Agriculture, convened in New Delhi on December 8 to deliberate on crucial aspects of agricultural policies and bilateral collaborations between India and the European Union (EU).

The primary focus of the meeting was directed towards fostering sustainable food systems, addressing market access challenges, progressing India-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations, and solidifying a bilateral agreement on Organic Products.

Minister Shobha Karandlaje underscored the recent strides made by the Government of India in enhancing the sustainability and climate resilience of agriculture. She highlighted the impactful initiatives such as the National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) and the National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) schemes, aimed at fortifying the agricultural sector against environmental challenges.

Additionally, Minister Karandlaje brought attention to the market access hurdles hindering the export of agricultural products to the EU. Notably, she reiterated India's request for the Protected Geographical Indicator (GI) status for Basmati Rice, currently awaiting consideration by the European Commission.

In response, European Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski acknowledged India's successful Presidency of the G20 and assured that the concerns raised by the Indian side are actively under consideration. He also took note of market access requests from EU countries pending India's response, emphasizing the importance of resolving these matters to foster robust trade relations.

Minister Karandlaje informed the European Commissioner that several outstanding market access requests from EU countries have been successfully concluded in recent months. She expressed confidence that the remaining issues would be resolved in due course, contributing to a more streamlined and efficient trade relationship.

Commissioner Wojciechowski emphasized the significance of the Joint Working Group mechanism in resolving mutual concerns and proposed scheduling the next meeting of the Joint Working Group in early 2024, an idea promptly endorsed by Minister Karandlaje.

Both sides expressed their commitment to maintaining a continuous and open dialogue on agricultural policies, showcasing their shared dedication to furthering cooperation and collaboration in the agriculture sector.

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