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
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.
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.