Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Commerce & Industry
09-December-2010 17:39 IST
India-EU FTA Negotiations to be Concluded by Spring 2011: Anand Sharma
Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, on his arrival in Brussels, ahead of India-EU Summit, expressed optimism of concluding negotiations by Spring 2011. He said that after his meeting with EU Trade Commissioner, Mr. Karel de Gucht last week, he had given directions to the negotiating team to intensify negotiations and both sides will now be engaged to iron out areas of divergence over the next few months. A roadmap for the negotiations from now to spring 2011 has been finalized and mutually agreed upon.

Since last Summit, 4 full rounds, eight inter-sessionals, four video conferences, three meetings of the of the DG Trade and Commerce Secretary and several meetings at the Chief Negotiator level have taken place. There are twelve tracks on which negotiations are taking place and on most of these tracks broad understanding has been reached and final positions are emerging. Many issues such as Rules of Origin, Trade Defence, Trade facilitation, SPS-related issues have mostly been settled to mutual satisfaction of both the sides. There has been a keen desire on both sides to address the complex issues and many prickly issues have been addressed in the recent past, for example, in his last meeting with EU Trade Commissioner, Shri Anand Sharma was assured that the relevant rules that led to seizure of Indian generic medicines will be amended. Further assurance was given that such cases will not be repeated till the actual amendment takes place. Some work need to be done in the areas of government procurement, investments, IPRs, transparency and EU request on sustainable development. There is a need to find common ground where sensitivities where both the sides are protected and mutually satisfactory solutions are found.

Chief Negotiator and Additional Secretary in the Ministry Shri P K Chaudhury said that ‘there is challenging task ahead of us. We are ready for intense engagement to ensure early conclusion of negotiations. The issues remaining of the table are complex but if we are able to resolve them to the mutual satisfaction of the two sides, it will enrich the trade deal. In its span and depth, the BTIA will be the biggest trade and investment agreement. It will open up opportunities for trade and economic growth for all sections of our people’.