European Union keen on concluding FTA talks with India by 2014
EU’s Free Trade Pact with India next year?
New Delhi: The European Union is keen on concluding the long-pending negotiations for the Free Trade Pact with India by next year, Ireland Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Richard Bruton said today.
“The EU’s ambition is to try to conclude the (India-EU) pact in 2014,” Bruton told PTI here. Ireland is a member of the 28-nation bloc. Noting that the Free Trade Pact (FTA) is important for long-term development and mutual benefit, Bruton said, “Both the sides have some concerns and it has to be ensured that the agreement does not affect their existing business structures.”
The Irish Minister, who is on a five-day visit to India, is heading a business delegation of about 42 companies. India and the EU are negotiating the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) since June 2007 and have missed several deadlines to conclude the talks due to differences among the two sides on the level of opening up of the markets.
Both the sides had failed to bridge substantial gaps on crucial issues, including insurance and data security status for the IT sector. The EU side has been demanding significant duty cuts in automobiles, tax reduction in wines and spirits and dairy products and a stronger intellectual property regime.
On the other hand, India is asking the European Union to grant data secure nation. The matter is crucial as it will have a bearing on Indian IT companies wanting market access.
It also wants liberalized visa norms for its professionals and market access in services and pharmaceutical sector. The two-way trade between India and EU stood at USD 91.3 billion in 2010-11.