In­dia, EU Look to Restart Trade Talks

The Economic Times - - Companies & Economy - Kir­tika.Suneja @times­

New Delhi: In­dia and the Euro­pean Union plan to take stock of the pro­posed free trade agree­ment ne­go­ti­a­tions next month and ex­plore ways to put in place a frame­work to re­sume the stalled talks. A del­e­ga­tion com­pris­ing se­nior EU of­fi­cials is vis­it­ing Delhi in Novem­ber to re­assess the talks and de­cide fur­ther course of ac­tion, an of­fi­cial said.

“The EU del­e­ga­tion will see if the talks can con­tinue at all and if yes, then from where to pick up,” said the of­fi­cial, who did not wish to be iden­ti­fied.

The two sides have been in talks on what is of­fi­cially known as the Broad­based In­vest­ment and Trade Agree­ment since 2007.

The talks have been stal- led due to rea­sons, be­gin­ning with a pro­longed re­ces­sion in the EU, its fo­cus on con­clud­ing the Tran­sat­lantic Trade and In­vest­ment Part­ner­ship agree­ment with the US and then its move of ban­ning 700 generic drugs tested in In­dia. The Brexit dealt yet another blow to the talks. “With the UK out of the EU, Ger­many is ex­pected to take the lead in the ne­go­ti­a­tions,” a Delhi-based ex­pert said.

“There will be less ag­gres­sion on ser­vices as this was the UK’s de­mand. But au­to­mo­biles may be­come an im­por­tant agenda.”

The talks have also been stuck for four years on slash­ing of im­port duty on Euro­pean cars and al­co­hol by In­dia and recog­nis­ing In­dia as a ‘data-se­cure’ na­tion to en­able free flow of data be­tween In­dia and the EU.

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