EU-India making ‘good progress’ on free trade agreement

India News Bulletin Desk
EU-India making ‘good progress’ on free trade agreement
Photo: Wikimedia Commons (Aris Katsaris)

European Union and India are identifying mutually acceptable steps on free trade agreement to boost trade between the two regions amid current economic uncertainties.

Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and European Union (EU) Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht have said that they are making good progress on the negotiations towards an ambitious EU-India Free Trade Agreement.

Commissioner De Gucht and Minister Sharma will hold another ministerial meeting before 2013 to conclude the negotiations. To this end, negotiating teams from both regions will identify possible solutions on all remaining issues in the coming months.

A number of inter-sessional meetings will be held and chief negotiators will also meet again in September to take stock of the negotiations, according to the European Commission (EC).

Both sides are keen to find results which will give an important boost to trade between the EU and India. This is particularly important in the current economic climate.

EU-India trade story so far…

The EU-India FTA negotiations were launched in 2007 with an aim to increase the trade in both goods and services and investment in both the regions.

Since 2004 India is one of the EU's "strategic partners" and from 2005, the EU-India Joint Action Plan has aimed at realising the full potential of this collaboration in key areas of interest to India and the EU.

EU-India trade has more than doubled from €28.6bn in 2003 to over €67.9bn in 2010. Meanwhile, EU investment to India has more than tripled since 2003 from €759m to €3bn in 2010 and trade in commercial services has increased from €5.2bn in 2002 to €17.9bn in 2010.

However, India's trade regime and regulatory environment has restricted further trade progress between the two regions, the EC has said.

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