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Seventh Round of India-Peru Trade Agreement Negotiations Concludes with Substantial Progress

New Delhi: The seventh round of negotiations for the India-Peru Trade Agreement concluded in New Delhi from April 8 to April 11, 2024, marking significant strides towards fostering deeper economic cooperation between the two nations. The discussions, aimed at understanding priorities and concerns of each other, were rooted in mutual respect and the pursuit of mutual benefit.

At the commencement of the seventh-round negotiations, Sunil Barthwal, Commerce Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, highlighted the historical ties between India and Peru dating back to the 1960s. He underscored the importance of understanding strengths and respecting sensitivities of each other as fundamental principles guiding the negotiations.

Rajesh Agrawal, Chief Negotiator & Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, emphasized the need for effective and fast-track negotiations, acknowledging the willingness between both countries to deepen economic cooperation. Ambassador of Peru in India, HE Javier Manuel Paulinich Velarde, expressed confidence in the outcomes of the negotiations towards fostering partnership.

Additional Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Republic of India, G. V. Srinivas, appreciated the idea of lessening the negotiation period, while Peruvian Chief Negotiator, Mr. Gerardo Antonio Meza Grillo, highlighted the significance of resuming negotiations after 2019, reflecting commitment and interest from both parties.

The negotiations, attended by around sixty delegates from both sides, covered various chapters including Trade in Goods, Trade in Services, Movement of Natural Persons, Rules of Origin, and more. Substantial convergence in the text of the agreement was achieved, with detailed discussions held on aspirations and sensitivities between both parties.

India and Peru have witnessed a significant increase in trade over the past two decades, with Peru emerging as the third-largest trading partner of India in the Latin American & Caribbean Region. The trade agreement under negotiations is expected to play a pivotal role in future collaboration across sectors, creating avenues for mutual benefit and advancement.

The next round of negotiations, expected in June 2024, will be preceded by intersessional negotiations over VC to ensure that outstanding issues are resolved before the two parties meet again, further solidifying the path towards a comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreement.

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