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
The eighth round of the FTA talks which took place in Mumbai last week have been strongly criticised in India for their secrecy and lack of consultation with the national parliament and state governments.
Indian and European negotiators will focus on whittling down differences over market access and intellectual property rights when they meet next week to push for a bilateral trade pact, a European diplomat said on Monday.
A new wave of investments from India to Europe and from Europe to India is likely to follow the India-EU free trade agreement which would take the bilateral trade to 160 billion euro by 2015, says the Indian Ambassador to France Ranjan Mathai.
Statement from the 9th EU-India Business Summit organised by the
Confederation of Indian Industry, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and
Industry, The Confederation of Swedish Enterprises and BUSINESSEUROPE on 6 November 2009
The EU is pushing an unsavoury free trade deal that would force India to give up control of its banking sector and drugs industry
The fate of the India-EU trade and investment agreement—which seeks to further open up bilateral markets for goods, investments
and services—may hang in balance as India and the EU lock horns over including labour standards in the pact.
Sources say that the two sides are nowhere close to an agreement.
Following the conclusion of an FTA with South Korea, the European Commission’s Chief Negotiator, Ignacio Garcia Bercero, has stepped up efforts to reinvigorate the trade negotiations with India. However, two key contentious issues are standing in the way of further progress, namely tariff liberalisation and public procurement.
Two years after the European Union and India began negotiating a Free Trade Agreement that has enemies in both places, the talks are continuing with the hope of concluding by the end of the year, but not in time for the EU-India Summit in New Delhi on Nov. 6.
“Real negotiations between the two sides have not started yet,” says the head of the delegation of the European Commission in India