The last talks of the Free Trade Agreement between India and the European Union were back in 2013, with sixteen small informal discussions afterwards. On November 14, the talks will start officially again.
“We agreed that we should take our trading relationship to the next level. It is high time for an FTA between India and the EU,” said Jean Claude Junker , President of the European Commission.
The first round of talks for the broad based trade and investment agreement (BTIA) after a four year gap will take place in New Delhi, India. This will be between Anup Wadhawan, India’s Chief Trade Negotiator and Helena König from EU. The primary talks will be about identifying the important areas in terms of trade.
India and the EU have a lot to benefit from one another. India is aiming for a more digitized bargain with a status of data secure. This will help pursue Shri Narendra Modi’s Digital India campaign. India will also want to relax norms on temporary movement of skilled workers from India to the EU.
In return India is ready to show some ease on lowering tariffs for EUs main exports to India such as automobiles and wines and spirits.
Investment in the manufacture sector from the EU will be hardly discussed, as German and France investors would help India forwards with the Make In India campaign.
Controversial clauses such as most favoured nation (MFN) has been dropped, scope of national treatment fair and equitable treatment clauses have been narrowed tremendously.
There is a clear advantage for India in business services being offered and the textile industry, and so these points need to be strongly debated upon. India’s weak link would be sectors such as motor vehicles and minerals and hence a formulated strategy needs to be worked upon this.
Other important points that will be discussed outside the economic sector would be the threat of terrorism. Sharing of the best practices to combat terrorism, will be a win win for both the EU and India.