Talks on the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement—the official title of the free trade pact—started in 2007 but progress has been tardy and marked by flip-flops.
What EU wants?
The European Union has said that it offered India the possibility of asymmetric and gradual elimination of tariffs in the car and car parts (upto 100% import duties faced by EU exporters)and wines and spirits (upto 150% import duties faced by EU exporters) sectors as part of the negotiations on the BTIA.
What India wants?
- High on India’s priority list has been access to European markets for Indian service professionals (such as from the IT sector).
- India is keen to obtain ‘data secure’ nation status from the EU, a classification that is crucial for the development of its IT and ITES sectors in Europe.
- EU considers India insecure in keeping data secure. A ‘data secure’ status is needed by EU. This has hampered the progress of negotiations around the liberalization of trade in services in the BTIA.
India-EU Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) negotiations
- On 28th June 2007, India and the EU began negotiations on a broad-based Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) in Brussels, Belgium.
Objective of BTIA
India and the EU expect to promote bilateral trade by removing barriers to trade in goods and services and investment across all sectors of the economy. Both parties believe that a comprehensive and ambitious agreement that is consistent with WTO rules and principles would open new markets and would expand opportunities for Indian and EU businesses.
Areas covered under BTIA
The negotiations cover Trade in Goods, Trade in Services, Investment, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Technical Barriers to Trade, Trade Remedies, Rules of Origin, Customs and Trade Facilitation, Competition, Trade Defence, Government Procurement, Dispute Settlement, Intellectual Property Rights & Geographical Indications, Sustainable Development.
Will free trade with EU hampers India’s generic industries?
- Access to medicines is an essential pillar of the EU’s policy on intellectual property and this is fully taken into the negotiations with India.
- The trade agreement that EU want to establish with India will not undermine India’s right to produce generic medicines either for domestic or international purposes.