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EU FTA talks expected to move forward in next few days

07 October, 2017, 00:57 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • Morning Current Affairs 6 October 2017

The two sides arrived at the decision during the 14th summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the European Council President Donald Franciszek Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker here.

According to the Delegation of the European Union to India, "when concluded, this (FTA) would be one of the world's largest trade agreements, touching the lives of 1.7 billion people".

The agreement is supposed to cover market access in goods, services and public procurement, as well as create a framework for protecting investments.

The EU is India's largest export destination and if talks do resume Britain could find itself battling it out with Brussels in another trade contest.

On his part, Tusk said both sides adopted a joint declaration on counter-terrorism "to deal effectively with the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, terror financing and arms supply".

Launched in June 2007, negotiations for the proposed India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) have witnessed many hurdles due to major differences on crucial issues like intellectual property rights, and duty cut in automobile and spirits. "Today's Summit is an important step in the right direction and our chief negotiators will sit down in the next coming days to chart a way forward".

Emphasising that bilateral trade between 28 nation bloc and India has huge potential for growth, he said, FTA or Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) will help achieve the true potential. "The European Union doesn't want to dictate conditions", Juncker said. Indian software service providers have specialised in offering back office and information technology (IT) services to European companies. "India-EU should work together on data protection".

He asserted that data protection was a precondition for exchanging personal data freely and fully.

India and the 28-nation bloc have also made a decision to boost cooperation on maritime security in the Indian Ocean and beyond which, according to Tusk, will lead to enhanced military cooperation between them.

India received around United States dollars 83 billion of foreign direct investment from Europe during 2000-17, constituting approximately 24 per cent of total FDI inflows into the country during the period. Our multi-dimensional relation and strategic partnership is of prime importance: "PM Modi at India-EU joint statement", he added.

It said they were also looking forward to a resumption of exercises between European Union and Indian naval ships.

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