India plans to hold FTA talks with UK, EU, Canada on G20 sidelines – trade secretary

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India plans to hold bilateral free trade talks with the United Kingdom, the European Union and Canada and discuss bilateral trade issues with the Russian delegation on the sidelines of a G20 meeting next week, a top trade official said on Friday.

The G20 trade ministers are likely to discuss trade and World Trade Organisation reforms in their meeting, trade secretary Sunil Barthwal also told reporters.

More than 300 delegates from G20 members are to gather in Jaipur, about 300 km from the capital New Delhi, for the Aug. 24-25 Trade and Investment Ministerial meeting.

The Trade and Investment Working Group was set up in 2016 under the Chinese G20 presidency and has continued to hold talks on related issues at subsequent meetings.

“WTO reforms is one of the priority issues at G20,” the official, said noting that the agenda for the G20, who account for nearly 85% of global GDP, will include the role of logistics in expanding global value chains and small businesses.

Among others, France, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey, UK, USA and EU have confirmed their participation in the meeting.

The trade ministers are likely to aim to build a consensus on the issue of reducing transaction costs through a paperless global trading system, while helping small businesses to become part of global trade, the trade ministry said in a statement.

(Reporting by Manoj Kumar in New Delhi, writing by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Editing by Toby Chopra and Hugh Lawson)