Free trade talks between India and EU stalled
- The negotiations for the BTIA were aimed at liberalising the merchandise trade but also covered services and investment, the areas of great interest to India.
- The talks have remained stuck because the EU is dissatisfied with India's "insurance, government purchases and market access for automobiles and wines & spirits" offers.
- Stalled talks mean missed opportunities of market access for both EU and India.
7 rounds of failed BTIA negotiations
Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) initiated in 2007 for 'Free Trade Agreement' has had 7 rounds of discussions without reaching any conclusive decision.
EU keen to re-start free trade talks
- Slowdown and recession in its crucial economies have made the EU keen to restart the negotiations on the hedged free trade agreement.
- India too, has expressed its willingness to re-engage with the EU on the "market-opening trade agreement" and is waiting for EU to move forward in this direction.
- The negotiations are important for India as EU is India's largest trading partner.
India and EU set tentative date for negotiations
- India and the European Union finally set a date in August to resume the suspended negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA).
- Both EU and India are keen to end the deadlock, confirmed the outgoing commerce secretary Rajeev Kher.
- Kher said it would be timely to conclude the deal as it would give a 'boost to textile and leather exports' which need the push.
PM Modi pushes for talks on free trade
Modi said that: “I have requested Chancellor (Angela) Merkel that India and European Union should resume the negotiations quickly and conclude a balanced and mutually beneficial agreement at the earliest.”
EU bans 700 Indian generic medicenes
- Around 700 generic medicines have been banned by EU for apparent 'manipulation' of clinical trials conducted by GVK Biosciences, India's pharmaceutical research company.
- The ban will come into effect from 21 August and it will be applicable for all 28 member nations.
- This would also be the largest EU-wide suspension on the sales and distribution of generic drugs directed by the European Commission.
India defers free trade agreement talks with EU
- India has decided to defer talks with the European Union on the Broadbase Investment and Trade Agreement (BITA).
- This protest comes in the wake of the EU ban on pharmaceutical products tested by GVK Biosciences.
- India has voiced its anger because similar products are already present in EU markets without any ban.
- India stands to lose $1.2 billion because of this ban.