The Foreign Affairs – Trade Council also discussed trade-related aspects of EU economic security
“There is a need to expand the EU’s network of trade and investment agreements with key partners, and to develop and implement new trade policy initiatives – for example, cooperation with certain countries on supply chains for critical raw materials.” This was said by the Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry at an informal meeting of the Council “Foreign Affairs – Trade” held in Sofia. Valencia, Spain. He stressed the need to ensure the effective and timely implementation of trade defence instruments, as well as the development of new instruments where necessary. Deputy Minister Pavlov stressed the importance of strengthening the multilateral trading system and the World Trade Organisation reform to reduce dependencies and diversify trade.
In the Foreign Affairs – Trade Council, trade-related aspects of EU economic security were also discussed. Ministers discussed measures to address the challenges and agreed on a concept to reduce risk through clear and targeted measures to curb excessive dependencies in critical supply chains.
Ministers held a strategic discussion on accelerating trade and investment negotiations with India, presenting their views on the EU’s objectives. After several rounds of talks, a positive dynamic is emerging in the negotiation process, despite the existing differences. The ministers agreed on a pragmatic approach and flexibility in order to reach agreements, bearing in mind India’s geopolitical importance, the need to diversify supply chains and the expansion of EU export markets.
Deputy Minister Pavlov pointed out that the EU has a leading role in implementing and promoting the use of the highest standards for sustainable development. He stressed that the future agreement should be broader in scope than those that India concludes with other trading partners. At the same time, in some of the areas that are difficult to negotiate, the EU could take a more tailor-made approach to take into account India’s political and economic specificities.
Deputy Minister Nikolay Pavlov also met with Bulgarian EU Commissioner Iliana Ivanova and discussed the economic challenges facing the EU and Bulgaria.