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.
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.