India-EU Free Trade Agreement

Posted on: 31/01/2013

India and the EU member states are negotiating the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) since June 2007 and have missed several deadlines to conclude the talks due to differences among the two sides on the level of opening up of the markets.  The free trade agreement, officially dubbed as BTIA, seeks to sharply reduce tariffs on goods and liberalise services and investments provisions.  According to the Indian ambassador to the EU, Dinkar Khullar speaking on the 21st January 2013, the negotiations have entered its final stage and negotiators "are looking at a possible conclusion" by spring.  “This has been a long journey for the negotiations, which is inevitable, given the size of the two partners and the importance of the domestic economies on both sides,” he said.  The deal will be a broad-based trade and investment agreement, which will cover over 95% of tariff lines. Trade experts believe the agreement would help Indian companies to expand into the EU, the country’s biggest trading partner. Europe wants access to a big market of 1.2 billion potential customers in India.

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