India-EU Free Trade Agreement, FTA, talks expected to take off soon

The long awaited talks related to the India-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) are expected to take off soon, following the preliminary talks between the two sides in March 2022. Exports between the two sides have already touched USD 400 billion and a roadmap is already in place for the negotiations to start.

Sources confirmed to Financial Express Online, that the two sides are keen to iron out all differences due to which the talks fell in 2014 and to work towards an early-harvest deal.

EU-Indo-Pacific

Last September the EU had adopted a Joint Communication on the EU Strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

In implementing the strategy, the EU has highlighted completing trade negotiations with countries like Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand and has also highlighted the resumption of trade negotiations and starting investment negotiations with India.

In its Indo-Pacific Policy it has also highlighted implementing Connectivity Partnership with India and Japan.

What is the EU looking for in an FTA with India?

They want duty concessions for wines and spirits, dairy products and automobiles. And it wants India to cover concessions which have been extended to other partner countries under FTA.

India is looking for mobility for professionals and greater market access in financial services.

Background

The India-EU talks took off in 2007, however were put on hold in 2014 due to differences between the two sides related to environment and labor standards.

It is now officially known as the Broad-Based Trade and Investment Agreement but following talks between the top leadership last May, both sides agreed to resume on the FTA.

As has been reported by Financial Express Online earlier, the then Secretary (West) MEA Vikas Swarup had told the media that the two sides agreed to restart negotiations for a balanced and comprehensive FTA and Investment Agreement.

The talks which are resuming after a gap of seven years will work towards an early conclusion of agreements related to Geographical Indicators and Investment Protection.

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