India and EU hold meeting to discuss recommencing FTA talks

Legislation | | MIC Customs Solutions |

India and the EU have held a meeting to determine what steps need to be taken to recommence formal talks over a free trade agreement between the regions.

Talks over a potential free trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and India could recommence soon following a recent meeting between officials from the two regions.

The stock-taking meeting aimed to examine outstanding issues that contributed to stall the discussion process over the planned FTA, which originally commenced in 2007 but has fallen dormant.

A stock-taking meeting had originally been planned for August 2015, but was cancelled at India's insistence due to the Asian nation's dissatisfaction over the EU's ban on the sale of around 700 pharmaceutical products that had been clinically tested by GVK Biosciences. 

The reopening of communication channels have now raised hopes that the FTA discussions could yet be finalised, a move that would see the EU benefit from duty cuts on automobiles, wines and spirits.

India, meanwhile, is seeking easier temporary movement of skilled professionals, more seamless intra-corporate movement and a solution for technical barriers to trade measures adopted in the EU.

Commerce secretary Rita Teaotia said: "There is work to be done yet. The negotiations will proceed once a decision is taken on whether there is enough ground to move ahead. We are very positive."