Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister of commerce & Industry, today had a substantive meeting with the EU Trade Commissioner Mr. Karel de Gucht in Brussels to review India EU economic engagement and specifically take stock of the progress of India EU Broad Based Trade and Investment negotiations. Both Ministers expressed satisfaction on the status of on going negotiations and agreed on a roadmap which will enable early conclusion of negotiations. A joint Ministerial statement will be presented to the leaders at the India EU Summit to be held in Brussels on 10th December 2010.
Shri Sharma expressed optimism for an early conclusion with balanced gains for both India and EU. Shri Sharma and Mr. Karel de Gucht agreed that a conclusion of this agreement would send a strong message to the global community and would also give an impetus to the Doha round of WTO. EU is India’s largest trading partner, with bilateral trade touching $ 70 billion last year and a conclusion of this agreement will catalyze greater trade and investment flows. Shri Sharma observed that there has been a considerable enhancement in India’s investments in EU and at the same time the Indian economy is ready to absorb much greater investment flows from Europe in all areas including infrastructure, energy, renewables and manufacturing.
Consignments of Indian generics transiting through Europe have faced difficulties in the past in context of seizures by EU authorities. EU Trade Commissioner assured Shri Sharma that a solution will be found to the satisfaction of India, and the required statutory changes in European regulations would be made.