Wednesday, May 28, 2008

EU confirms FTA with India on a fast-track

The European Union has confirmed that it had received from the Indian government the draft documents pertaining to the ongoing negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India.

“I can confirm that we have received the document from India. I can confirm that it is certainly a useful and worthwhile opening bid for negotiations will have to go further and deeper,” Peter Power, spokesperson for EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson told journalists in Brussels.

Replying to a question from New Europe, Power lamented that the time-frame for the talks to conclude is “not solely in our hands.”

“We would like to see this particular negotiation making progress as rapidly as possible. I think the opening bid is not bad, but a lot of work remains to be done to have an agreement that would be worthy of support by both sides,” he noted.

“I think at this stage it would be unwise of me to put a timetable, but certainly we should hope to see substantial movement in the next year to 18 months,” added Power.

India formally launched negotiations in June 2007 with the EU for a comprehensive FTA aimed at removing barriers across all sectors including investment and services.

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