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India, EU Committed To Trade Agreement

by Mary Swire, Tax-news.com, Hong Kong

21 November 2011


In spite of slow progress and various disagreements, India and the European Union (EU) are expected to finalize a trade and investment agreement by early 2012.

According to Shri Anand Sharma, India's Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles, the agreement will lead to an increase of opportunities for market access in both goods and services for both sides. He added during his meeting with Kris Peeters, Minister President of the Belgian region of Flanders that trade areas such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and the financial sector need to be opened up and diversified.

India pointed out that there are many investment opportunities within infrastructure including highways, power plants, railways, airports, ports and waterways, and says that it is completely committed to developing investment in these areas on a large scale. India’s investment in Flanders is also being focused on, with approximately EUR1.2bn having already been invested and over 50 Indian companies set up in the area.

In spite of these developments, the progress of negotiations between India and the EU with regard to the trade agreement has been criticized as being “painfully slow” by Germany. The German Head of Foreign Trade Berend Diekmann expressed concerns about some of the proposals that had been presented and warned that “a lot more will need to be done to work out a satisfying situation for both sides”. He even went as far as saying that he did not believe that any agreements would be signed before the India-EU summit due to be held in February, 2012 in New Delhi.

TAGS: India | trade treaty | agreements | trade | European Union (EU) | Europe

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