India and EU seek renewed progress on free trade agreement talks

Legislation | | MIC Customs Solutions |

India and the EU are looking to restart progress on a stalled free trade agreement between the two regions during a forthcoming summit.

Officials from India and the European Union are looking to make renewed progress on their long-running efforts to secure a new free trade agreement (FTA) between the regions.

The 14th India-EU summit on October 6th is being held to deepen the strategic partnership between the economies and advance collaboration in priority areas, with the stalled FTA set to be one of the key items on the agenda, according to India's Ministry of External Affairs.

India and the EU have been in the process of negotiating a bilateral trade and investment agreement since 2007, but progress has been slow, with this summit representing the first EU-India talks to be held since the Brexit vote in June 2016.

However, both sides are now keen to put the FTA talks back on the fast track, with a report from the Indian Express suggesting that a new mechanism or a joint working group to push for an early conclusion of the pact may soon be announced. This will help to address concerns arising from the lapsing of bilateral investment protection agreements with EU nations.

Encompassing goods, services and mutual investment protection, it is expected that the deal will liberalize trade between India and the EU, delivering economic benefits for both parties.

A source told the publication: "The idea is to turn the page on the issue of investments and trade, which may be adversely impacted due to the lapsed agreements on bilateral investment protection with all EU countries."

The EU is India's largest regional trading partner and the leading destination for Indian exports, as well as being a key source of investment and cutting-edge technologies.