Efforts to put India-EU FTA talks on fast track

New Delhi: Efforts are being taken to speed up and resume the stalled talks over Indo- EU’s free trade agreement (FTA). A delegation led by Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief, will arrive in India to push for the talks. During the delegation’s visit to India, discussions will be held over FTA between India and the EU.

Federica Mogherini will arrive in India next Friday. She will address bilateral, regional and global issues during her talks with India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Similarly, it is believed that the leaders will also review the preparations of the upcoming Indo-EU annual summit. Federica Mogherini is scheduled to visit China first, followed by India and Russia.

Besides meeting Sushma Swaraj, Federica Mogherini will also meet India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval during her India visit. During the meeting, discussions will be held to enhance cooperation between India and EU in the fight against terrorism.  However, the main objective of her India visit is said to be to speed up and resume the stalled talks over Indo-EU free trade agreement. India has signed the bilateral treaties for investments with a number of countries of the European Union. However, efforts are on for a free trade agreement. In the meantime, European Union is insisting upon extending the term of  agreement of bilateral investment by another six months.

The bilateral agreement between India and Netherlands is due to expire this November. Similarly, the agreements signed with other countries are also about to expire in the next few months. Therefore, efforts are on to extend the tenure of the agreements. Some countries have demanded that the tenure of the agreement should be extended first and then only talks should be held over Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA).

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