India and the European Union strengthen cooperation on competition policy

The fourth EU-India Competition Week took place online on December 13-14, 2021, and showcased the commitment of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Competition (DG Competition) and the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to step up their cooperation and technical exchanges on competition policy and law, according to the EU Delegation to India and Bhutan.

Officials from both agencies were joined by officials from the Italian and French national competition authorities for a series of roundtable discussions, which focussed on the practical challenges of competition enforcement and regulation on digital markets, building on previous year's discussions in light of recent developments, according to the EU Delegation to India and Bhutan. The second day of discussions focused on competition law and enforcement in the pharmaceutical sector in particular, which is notable in the light of the ongoing Pandemic.

UK trade minister to launch FTA talks in Delhi

Britain's Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan will launch free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations during a visit to New Delhi starting on January 12, 2022. The UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) stated that the schedule for the two-day visit to India will include bilateral talks between Trevelyan and India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, in which they are expected to discuss a range of issues including green trade and the removal of market access barriers for both UK and Indian businesses. Both ministers are then expected to confirm the launch of official negotiations on a new UK-India FTA.

Moreover, Trevelyan will join Piyush Goyal to co-host the 15th UK-India Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) to review how businesses in both countries are benefiting from existing market access commitments under the UK-India Enhanced Trade Partnership agreed in May 2021 by Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Narendra Modi.

COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India surpass 1.5 billion

According to India’s Health Ministry, the cumulative vaccine doses administered in the country passed 1.5 billion. According to health ministry officials, over 91% of the adult population has received at least one dose while over 66% have been fully vaccinated. India has also begun vaccinating adolescents in the age group of 15-18 years on January 03, 2022.

India inks pact with Spain on customs intelligence, investigations

On January 07, 2022, the Indian Government approved the agreement between India and Spain on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters. The Agreement will help in making available, reliable, quick, and cost-effective information and intelligence for the prevention and investigation of customs offenses and apprehending of offenders

Most importantly, it would provide a legal framework for sharing of information between the customs authorities of the two countries and help in the proper administration of customs laws and detection and investigation of customs offenses and the facilitation of legitimate trade.

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