|India EU draw roadmap for conclusion of BITA negotiations by October-November 2012|
|The Union Minister for Commerce, Industry and Textiles, Shri Anand Sharma met the European Union (EU) Trade Commissioner Mr. Karel De Gucht at Brussels today and reviewed the status of India-EU Bilateral Investment and Trade Agreement (BITA) negotiations. Both sides agreed on a roadmap to conclude the negotiations by October-November this year. Minister Sharma said that “after a number of rounds of negotiations, issues of concern to both sides have been identified. We must devote our energies to addressing these issues as expeditiously as possible. India is keen on a successful and balanced outcome of the negotiations at an early date.” The meeting of the two ministers followed after the meeting between Commerce Secretary Shri S R Rao and Chief Negotiators from both sides yesterday.|
In the candid exchange, both sides put their views regarding the areas of mutual concerns. The Indian side sought comfort and clarity on the market access being provided to India in Modes 1 and 4 and asked for assurance that these are actually effective on the ground. In mode-1, India would need to be declared as data secure in order to provide access. Shri Sharma reiterated that India is data secure, a fact validated by the presence of major international companies which have set-up their offices and R&D centres in India. Similarly, on Mode-4 i.e. movement of natural persons for providing services, India pushed for better access and removal of safeguard clauses that may hamper the actual realisation of concessions offered by EU. India also pushed for more access for domestic industry and Indian agricultural products.
The European side also put forward its concerns with regard to market access and patent issues. Fourteen rounds of negotiations have taken place, and the fifteenth round started yesterday.
The bilateral trade between India and EU in the year 2011 was US$ 108.80 billion which increased from US$ 83.46 billion in 2010. The exports in the year 2010 were US$ 41.15 billion which increased to US$ 54.74 billion in 2011. On the other hand, imports in the year 2010 were US$ 42.32 billion which also increased to US$ 54.07 billion in 2011. For the period January- April 2012, export was US$ 16.17 billion and import was US$ 18.53 billion. The total trade for this period was US$ 34.7 billion.