Free Trade Agreement (FTA) : India and EU likely to restart FTA talks on August 28

Highlights: 

  • India and the European Union are expected to resume negotiations on August 28 on the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) to boost two-way commerce and investment, after a gap of about two years.
  • For Indian side, the chief trade negotiator J S Deepak, Additional Secretary with the Commerce Ministry, and his European Union counterpart Ignacio Garcia Bercero will meet here on August 28,2015.  
  • The India-EU trade talks, formally known as the Broad- based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), remain stuck as both sides are not satisfied with each other's offers.
  • The talks were launched in June 2007 and have missed several deadlines.
  • The 28-nation bloc has demanded tariff cuts in products such as wines, spirits and automobile, besides inclusion of labour-related aspects.
  • It also wants liberalisation in services such as retail and legal.
  • On the other hand, India is insisting on data-secure nation status and immigration quota from the EU.
  • The status is crucial as it will have a bearing on Indian IT companies keen on market access in the 28-nation bloc.
  • Indian auto industry is worried that any concessions would have an adverse fallout and impact 'Make in India' initiative.
  • The two-way commerce between the two sides stood at about USD 99 billion in 2014-15.