EU FTA talks expected to move forward

EU FTA talks expected to move forward”

"We have agreed to strengthen our security cooperation and work together against terrorism".

India and the European Union have been strategic partners since 2004.

They agreed that India and the European Union, as the world's largest democracies, share a desire to work closely together and with all relevant players to support a rules-based worldwide order that upholds agreed worldwide norms, global peace and stability, and encourage inclusive growth and sustainable development in all parts of the inter-connected and multipolar world.

Key sticking points include European demands that India remove tariffs on vehicle and auto parts, wine and spirits.

I also appreciate the decision of the European Investment Bank to fund solar-related projects in member countries of the International Solar Alliance.

According to Tusk, fair and free trade is not only important for companies on both sides to prosper but it will also strengthen the multilateral rules-based order.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini will also attend the Summit, which will be hosted by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.

"We want to conclude that (FTA) once the conditions are right, when the circumstances are right". He further added that it was time for a free trade agreement between two of the world's largest democracies.

Talks with India resumed after the negotiations between Brussels and Washington on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) stalled after Donald Trump's election as USA president.

On terror, the two sides said, "The leaders strongly condemned the recent terrorist attacks in many parts of the world, underlining their common concern about the global threat posed by terrorism and extremism. They also emphasised the need to deepen cooperation within the United Nations and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)".

They adopted a Joint Statement on Cooperation in Combating Terrorism with a view to deepening their strategic and security cooperation, and expressed their strong commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, based on a comprehensive approach.

They also noted New Delhi's intensified engagement with the Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG), the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group. It also remains the largest destination for Indian exports and a key source of investment and technologies.

Negotiations on the FTA, officially called the Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), are stuck due to disagreement between the two sides over issues such as lowering of import duties on automobiles and alcohol by India and recognition of India by the European Union as a "data-secure" country. "I'm confident we can move forward", he said.

And report by the Commonwealth nation, blasting the "slow pace" of European Union talks, said Brexit will present a significant "opportunity".

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