The European Union and India launched negotiations on a bilateral free trade and investment agreement in June 2007. However, between the governments, a number of controversies have been plaguing the talks. Delhi wants Brussels to relax its stringent food safety criteria which penalise Indian farm and fishery exports and to make it easier for Indian professionals to work in the EU. Europe is primarily out to win major openings of India’s services sector and broad liberalisation of foreign investment, while India does not want to discuss allowing European firms to compete in India’s government procurement market.
Indian social movements, including fisherfolk and labour unions, people living with HIV/AIDS and other health activists have been mobilizing against the FTA. International actions and campaigns have particularly targeted the proposed intellectual property provisions of the agreement, and the impact of the FTA on access to medicines.
last update: May 2012
India government has deferred talks with the European Union on the proposed free trade agreement, peeved at the ban imposed on around 700 pharma products, which were clinically tested by GVK Biosciences.
Objecting to the ban of around 700 pharma products by the European Union, India said that it has called off a scheduled meeting of chief negotiators of the two sides on the proposed free trade agreement
The government of India has categorically informed the European Union that it will not allow European multibrand retail firms to set up shop here, even as both sides decided to resume negotiations towards concluding the long-pending Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement.
When talks resume, lack of clarity on domestic laws regarding bilateral investment treaty (BIT) and government procurement law may delay the progress in negotiations.
India and the European Union have set a tentative August date for the resumption of stalled negotiations for a free trade agreement, with both sides keen to break the deadlock, outgoing commerce secretary Rajeev Kher said on Monday.
Indian knitwear exporters have made an appeal to expedite the signing of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union.
India Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will meet her EU counterpart Cecila Malmstrom next week to take stock of the proposed FTA at political level, an EU envoy said, stating that taxation will not be part of the trade deal’s coverage.
India and the European Union could break the deadlock impeding the Free Trade Agreement when Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman travels to Paris in June to attend an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) event, European Union Ambassador in New Delhi Joao Cravinho told The Hindu.
India and the European Union will likely resume free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations in June, with New Delhi expressing willingness to accommodate the EU’s demands for lower duties on wines, spirits and automobiles, provided Brussels relents to grant India ‘data secure nation’ status besides facilitating easier movement of skilled Indian professionals in Europe.
A Free Trade Agreement between India and the EU would require "compromises" by all sides, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought her help for an early conclusion of a "balanced and mutually beneficial" deal, stalled for two years.