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
Keen to expand economic ties with India, the European Union has sought a ’political push’ by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to restart the stalled talks for the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and expressed readiness to adopt flexibility to iron out differences on crucial issues.
After a gap of almost 20 months, India and European Union are likely to resume talks for the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to boost commerce and investment.
Faced with slowdown and recession in some of its key economies, the European Union has approached India for restarting negotiations on the stalled free trade agreement, a top official has said.
Indian Ambassador to the European Union and Belgium Manjeev Singh Puri has called for energising EU-India trade and economic relations.
India and the European Union should restart trade talks and take steps to conclude the much-awaited free trade agreement, said Michael Rake, President of the Confederation of British Industry.
Swedish corporations like ABB, AstraZeneca, H&M, Volvo, Scania and IKEA are all set to take advantage of the EU-India FTA once it is signed, says ambassador.
India on Wednesday said it is willing to go in for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union but wants the 27-member bloc to address the issues flagged by New Delhi.
Talks between India and the European Union for a free-trade agreement are unlikely to take off any time soon, even though the new government has met a key EU demand by raising the ceiling for foreign direct investment in insurance companies to 49%.
“With a new Indian government expected to put long-stalled EU free trade talks at the top of its agenda, the mango ban could not have come at a worse time as it risks souring discussions before they even get going,” Allie Renison of business lobby group the Institute of Directors wrote in the Daily Telegraph.
The European Union’s decision to ban the import of Alphonso mangoes and four vegetables from India could derail EU-India free trade negotiations and weaken New Delhi’s relations with Brussels, according to the Europe India Chamber of Commerce (EICC).