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 CPI(M) today asked the government not to make any commitment on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) at the Monday’s India-European Union Summit in Marseille before discussing the issue in Parliament.
Expressing concern that all items of export interest to India, like leather, textiles and garments, may not get covered in the FTA being negotiated with the European Union, the FICCI, India’s corporate lobby group, has suggested expansion of scope of the pact to cover 95% of merchandise goods instead of 90%.
The European parliament on Wednesday called for the EU negotiate a free trade deal with India by the end of the year, though several voiced concerns over human rights abuses, in particular against Christians.
After clinching a deal with ASEAN on a Free Trade Agreement, negotiations will resume this week for a market-opening pact between India and EU, ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and French President Nicolas Sarkozy holding their summit talks in Paris later this month.
European Union on Monday hinted at continuation of bilateral negotiations on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India even if the ongoing WTO negotiations at Geneva fails.
The European Commission called on India on Tuesday to go further with its plans to open up its economy to European exports under a planned bilateral trade deal between the two trade powers.
India has delivered "useful" proposals for a free trade agreement with Europe but a lot of work remains to be done, a European Commission spokesman said Tuesday.
In a move that may help negotiators to move ahead with the proposed India-European Union free-trade agreement (FTA), the Indian government has forwarded two significant suggestions to the EU to settle the wrangling on it’s health-related trade rules.
The European Union is waiting for India to submit the list of items that will be covered under the proposed Free Trade Agreement between the two trading partners, a EU official said today.
India and the European Union (EU) will have to give the December deadline for their free trade agreement a miss if differences persist over the negative list and non-tariff barriers to trade.