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
Chief negotiators of India and EU took stock of "outstanding issues", including duty cut on automobiles and movement of professionals, that have held up talks on the proposed free trade agreement.
As reported in Indian media, senior officials from the European Commission and India are expected to meet today in Brussels to hold talks on resuming negotiations on the proposed European Union-India free trade agreement.
The newly-appointed European Union (EU) Ambassador to India Tomasz Kozlowski said it will not make any sense if the free trade agreement (FTA) talks start from the very beginning. In his first interview to the media, Kozlowski said the EU is preparing its strategy before the chief negotiators of the two countries meet on January 18.
Months after it called off talks between chief negotiators of the two sides on free trade agreement (FTA) to protest against the ban on sale of around 700 pharma products of a domestic company, India will meet officials from the European Union (EU) later next month to “take stock of the negotiations” on the long-pending FTA.
India and EU would soon resume negotiations on the stalled India-EU free trade agreement.
The EU and India are taking steps to end a trade row sparked by an EU ban of 700 Indian pharmaceutical products after New Delhi cancelled talks on a free trade accord earlier this month.
Objecting to the ban of around 700 pharma products by the European Union, India said that it has called off a scheduled meeting of chief negotiators of the two sides on the proposed free trade agreement
The government of India has categorically informed the European Union that it will not allow European multibrand retail firms to set up shop here, even as both sides decided to resume negotiations towards concluding the long-pending Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement.
When talks resume, lack of clarity on domestic laws regarding bilateral investment treaty (BIT) and government procurement law may delay the progress in negotiations.
India and the European Union have set a tentative August date for the resumption of stalled negotiations for a free trade agreement, with both sides keen to break the deadlock, outgoing commerce secretary Rajeev Kher said on Monday.