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 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.
The proposed India-EU trade liberalisation pact will not benefit domestic automobile firms and runs counter to the government’s flagship programme ’Make in India, auto industry body SIAM has said.
After a hiatus of over two years, India and the European Union will be discussing the proposed Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) on April 13.
The Indian government has urged the European Union to conclude negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement, saying the parties have arrived at the point of compromise that could be upset if EU became over-ambitious.
Can an FTA with EU really help India counter the TPP and TTIP impact or would it – if not treated with caution – further trap India into strict IP regimes and undue market access wherein India is expected to completely open up while Europe continues with its protectionist measures?
Negotiations for the proposed free trade agreement with the European Union may resume as India today said that it is "ready to talk" with the EU on the pact.
EU officials say that while they are looking at a ‘political push’ from India to kick-start the stalled negotiations, the 28-nation bloc is willing to be flexible in resolving the contentious issues.