Autumn deadline for EU-India FTA

13/02/2012

Negotiations on an EU-India free trade agreement (FTA) could be concluded by the autumn, according to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. EU and Indian leaders have made “substantial progress” on the negotiation at the 12th EU-India Summit held in New Delhi February 10.

At a press conference after meeting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other members of the government, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy expressed satisfaction with the “rich and constructive” discussions. Ahead of the summit, EU Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht met Commerce, Industry and Textiles Minister Anand Sharma on February 9 to discuss details of the FTA, which will officially be called Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA). India is believed to have broadly agreed to lower import on cars from the EU.

Aside from trade, leaders at the summit also discussed cooperation in global politics. The EU asked India to use its leverage to bring Iran to the negotiating table to defuse tensions over its nuclear programme. Concerns about the situation in Syria were also raised by European leaders. The summit stressed the importance of cooperation in the field of innovation research and technology. Two declarations were adopted to enhance the cooperation in energy and for launching an innovation partnership.