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India, EU officials to meet tomorrow on stalled FTA talks

Chief negotiators of India and the European Union (EU) will meet on Friday to discuss ways to carry forward the long-stalled negotiations for the proposed free trade agreement.

twitter-logo PTI   New Delhi     Last Updated: July 14, 2016  | 19:56 IST

Chief negotiators of India and the European Union (EU) will meet on Friday to discuss ways to carry forward the long-stalled negotiations for the proposed free trade agreement.

"India and EU chief negotiators to meet on July 15 to discuss way forward in India-EU Broad-based Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement," the Department of Commerce said in a tweet.

From the Indian side, 10 members will take part in the meeting, while six members from the European Union would be present.

India has already stated that it is keen on resuming long-stalled talks for the trade pact. This would be the first meeting of both the sides after the UK's decision to exit from the 28-nation bloc.

The meeting also assumes significance as India and the UK are exploring possibilities of negotiating a separate free trade pact.

With the Britain's decision, India and the EU would have to recalibrate the proposed free trade agreement with the bloc.

Senior officials from both the sides had so far met two times this year to resolve the contentious issues hampering the free trade agreement.

The negotiations for the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) have been held up since May 2013 as both the sides are yet to bridge substantial gaps on crucial issues, including data security status for the IT sector.

The negotiations for the proposed agreement were launched in 2007 and have seen many hurdles since then with both sides having major differences on crucial issues like intellectual property rights, duty cut in automobile and spirits, and liberal visa regime.

The pact is aimed at reducing or significantly eliminating tariffs on goods, facilitate trade in services and boost investments between the two sides.

Two-way trade between India and the EU dipped to $88.4 billion in 2015-16 from $98.5 billion in the previous fiscal.

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