India & EU Closer to Free Trade Agreement
A free trade agreement between India and the European Union is close to being finalized after successful meetings of officials in Brussels last week. The meetings in Brussels resulted in some differences settled and it is hoped the remaining issues can be sorted out in New Delhi in May.
The free trade agreement between India and the EU will include the removal of import duties on most industrial and agricultural goods, opening the services market and more liberal rules on investments. The EU, which consists of 27 members, is India’s largest trading partner as trade reached $75 billion during 2009-2010. If successful, the agreement may increase trade by a staggering 30%.
The remaining issues left to conclude are the automobiles and wind sector as well as visas to Indian professionals. If the next round of meetings is successful there is a very good chance that the free trade agreement will be signed in July.
The automobiles sector is likely to be a key issue, as India would like to keep this sector separate from any tariff reduction commitments, but there may be pressure from the EU to reduce duties on auto parts and cars.
International Government Affairs & Corporate Relations Consultants for Emerging Markets