UK opposition leader proposes EU-India free trade deal

Tuesday, 5th September 2006

UK opposition leader proposes EU-India free trade deal

BOMBAY (XFN-ASIA) - The leader of the UK’s main opposition Conservative Party, David Cameron, has proposed the idea of an EU-Indian free trade pact if the Doha round of global trade talks fails.

Cameron, on a four-day tour of India, has called for a ’new special relationship’ between the two countries to tap into the burgeoning Indian economy.

’We must try to restart the Doha round,’ he said in comments released ahead of a keynote speech on the global economy to business leaders here later today.

’But if we cannot get a breakthrough, we should consider the possibility of an EU/India free trade agreement.’

Talks among the 149 World Trade Organization (WTO) nations stalled at the end of June this year over the issue of tariffs and subsidies, especially in agriculture.

The Indian government has said that rich countries need to bring forward proposals to try to revive the talks.

Cameron has visited a call center and India’s biggest software services company, TCS, the largest Indian investor in the UK.

Cameron urged the Indian government to continue opening up the country’s economy, saying high barriers remain regarding foreign investment in financial services and retailing.

source: XFN-ASIA