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FTA with EU would get a boost from pally Portugal

Financial Express, India

FTA with EU would get a boost from pally Portugal

By Huma Siddiqui

3 July 2007

NEW DELHI, JUL 2: With Portugal taking presidency of the European Union on July 1, strong ties with India would help expedite the proposed free trade agreement between India and the EU.

Talking to FE, senior officials at the ministry of external affairs said, “The next India-EU summit to be held in India later this year, the EU delegation would be led by Portugal. And, as a member of the European Union-India’s main trading partner-Portugal is also a platform for providing access to a consolidated market of 500 million people in South America and Africa."

Portugal, which has taken over the six-month rotating Presidency of the European Union July 1, has planned summit-level meetings with all the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), with the 8th EU-India summit scheduled for November 30 in New Delhi.

"We need to strengthen economic relations and hopefully in the next India-EU summit to be held in India in November, some major announcements in this regard would be made," they said.

Emphasising on the need to increase bilateral trade with Portugal, officials said areas like information technology, biotechnology, agri business and food processing, tourism, textiles, chemicals and pharmaceuticals have been identified as sectors for the two countries to collaborate in.

Portugal intends to use the EU Presidency to focus on emerging economies, and reinforcing Europe’s role in the world.