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India, European Union review progress of FTA negotiations

FPJ Bureau | Updated on: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 02:09 PM IST

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New Delhi : India and the EU on Friday reviewed the progress of long-stalled talks for the proposed free trade agreement and expressed willingness to address outstanding issues as an integral part of the negotiations.

Post-Brexit, the Chief negotiators of European Union and India deliberated upon the Broad Based Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) negotiations.

They discussed the status of the on-going negotiations for BTIA, the commerce ministry said in a statement.

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Since 2007, when the negotiations started, 16 rounds of talks have been held. The last round was held in May 2013 and thereafter negotiations have been suspended.

“In today’s meeting, negotiating positions were established on a few pillars that are critical components of BTIA. The language of Indian negotiations reflected the concerns of Indian industries in some sectors and expressed willingness to address outstanding issues as an integral part of the negotiations,” it said.

India is committed to proceed with the negotiations with a hope to conclude the FTA as early as possible. The negotiations have been held up as both the sides are yet to bridge substantial gaps on crucial issues, including data security status for the IT sector.

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The negotiations have seen many hurdles since then with both sides having major differences on crucial issues like intellectual property rights, duty cut in automobile and spirits, and liberal visa regime. The pact is aimed at reducing or significantly eliminating tariffs on goods, facilitate trade in services and boost investments between the two sides.

Two-way trade between India and the EU dipped to USD 88.4 billion in 2015-16 from USD 98.5 billion in the previous fiscal.

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Published on: Saturday, July 16, 2016, 12:02 AM IST