The European Union and India launched negotiations on a bilateral free trade and investment agreement in June 2007. However, between the governments, a number of controversies have been plaguing the talks. Delhi wants Brussels to relax its stringent food safety criteria which penalise Indian farm and fishery exports and to make it easier for Indian professionals to work in the EU. Europe is primarily out to win major openings of India’s services sector and broad liberalisation of foreign investment, while India does not want to discuss allowing European firms to compete in India’s government procurement market.
Indian social movements, including fisherfolk and labour unions, people living with HIV/AIDS and other health activists have been mobilizing against the FTA. International actions and campaigns have particularly targeted the proposed intellectual property provisions of the agreement, and the impact of the FTA on access to medicines.
last update: May 2012
Swedish corporations like ABB, AstraZeneca, H&M, Volvo, Scania and IKEA are all set to take advantage of the EU-India FTA once it is signed, says ambassador.
India on Wednesday said it is willing to go in for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union but wants the 27-member bloc to address the issues flagged by New Delhi.
Talks between India and the European Union for a free-trade agreement are unlikely to take off any time soon, even though the new government has met a key EU demand by raising the ceiling for foreign direct investment in insurance companies to 49%.
“With a new Indian government expected to put long-stalled EU free trade talks at the top of its agenda, the mango ban could not have come at a worse time as it risks souring discussions before they even get going,” Allie Renison of business lobby group the Institute of Directors wrote in the Daily Telegraph.
The European Union’s decision to ban the import of Alphonso mangoes and four vegetables from India could derail EU-India free trade negotiations and weaken New Delhi’s relations with Brussels, according to the Europe India Chamber of Commerce (EICC).
Negotiations between India and the European Union for the free trade agreement (FTA) are expected to start after the new government assumes office, French Ambassador Francois Richier said today.
The new Indian government should expedite negotiations on the Indo-European Union free trade agreement, says German Ambassador to India Michael Steiner.
The free trade agreement with India is in need of a thorough and objective impact assessment by civil society, Henri Malosse, President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has said.
India and the European Union will have a free trade agreement most likely in the first half of 2015, EU Ambassador to India Joao Cravinho, said on Friday.
India and the European Union are unlikely to ink a free trade pact in the next three to four years, a Belgium-based independent think tank, the European Centre for International Political Economy, has said. Echoing similar views, an MEP said, "It all depends on whether the Indian Parliament gets to pass the Insurance Bill in the Winter Session."