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EU trade chief to visit India

DPA | 26 Feb 2010

EU trade chief to visit India

The European Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht, is seeking to boost the European Union’s ties with key Asian nations by embarking on a trip to Singapore, Vietnam and India next week, officials said Thursday.

On March 1 and 2 he is expected in Hanoi to discuss strengthening EU-Vietnam trade relations ; on March 2 and 3 he is due to travel to Singapore to launch negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) ; in Delhi on March 3 and 4 he "is aiming to inject new momentum into the ongoing FTA negotiations", a statement said.

"Asia represents enormous growth potential for our exporters and I want to tap into new exporting and investment opportunities in this region. Many of the emerging Asian markets have high entry barriers, and ambitious free trade negotiations are the best way to tackle these," De Gucht stressed.

Since he was sworn in on Feb 10, the Belgian commissioner has visited Morocco and the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva. But EU officials say next week’s mission to Asia represents his first major trip abroad.

 source: DPA