ESF Activities on EU-INDIA FTA negotiations

Sep. 2014 – EU industry associations call for renewed engagement with India

ESF joined a group of EU Industry associations in a letter addressed to EU Council President Van Rompuy and EU Commission President Barroso on 23rd September 2014 to urge the EU to seek a renewed engagement in the EU-India trade negotiations, which should resume and should focus on addressing a number of issues where progress would improve business conditions and support the investment that India needs.  These include i) Removing unjustifiable barriers to entry including burdensome licensing requirements, local content rules and data storage requirements, ii) Improving public procurement rules which tend to favour Indian industry; iii) Institutional reform to improve the ease of doing business including infrastructure bottlenecks, administrative transparency and unpredictable and discriminatory taxation; iv) Lifting restrictions on FDI in a range of sectors, in particular services, and bolstering investment protection; v) Improving the ability of foreign financial institutions to operate in India to improve the overall financing of the economy; vi) Facilitating the movement of services providers including the ability of European companies to expeditiously obtain visas and work permits in India and conversely the ability of highly qualified Indian business personnel to access the EU, etc.  You can find the joint letter here.

Dec. 2012 – ESF co-signed letter on Preferential Market Access in public procurement in India

The European Services Forum (ESF), together with BUSINESSEUROPE, DIGITALEUROPE  and the European Telecommunications Networks Operators Associations (ETNO) sent aJoint Letter on 20 December 2012 on India Preferential Market Access in public procurement to the prime minister of India, as well as to three other ministers dealing with this issue.  The signatories strongly urge the Indian Government to halt the implementation of the PMA Mandate for private sector procurements, specifically the October 2012 telecom notification. Applying PMA to private sector procurements would constitute an unprecedented interference in the private sector and calls into question India’s fundamental WTO commitments to not discriminate against foreign products.   A similar letter was also sent to Commissioner De Gucht, Kroes and Tajani and the relevant officials in the Commission.

Dec. 2011 – Letter sent to EU Chief Negotiator for India FTA concerning the importance of services commitments

ESF sent a letter to Ignacio Garcia-Bercero, the EU’s chief negotiator in the India trade talks reiterating the need to secure commitments for the services sector during the crucial lead up to the Summit in February.  The letter was sent on the 5 December 2011 and is available here.

Dec. 2010 – European Services industry calls EU and India leaders to boost EU-India FTA

On the eve of the EU-India Summit in Brussels on 10 December, the European Services Forum calls on the leaders of both sides to give a strong signal to the Free Trade Agreement negotiators demonstrating emphatically that their objective is market-openness and that their goal is an ambitious agreement that will deliver material opportunities to the economies and citizens of both parties.  The resultant FTA would spur an advantageous expansion in global trade when it is vitally necessary to so do.  It would give European businesses access to a huge potential market with a strong and steady growth rate  (see Press Release).  The European Services Forum sent to EU Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht a detailed analysis of the priorities of the industry on the horizontal front, as well as in the various services sectors, sector by sector (see letter and detailed Position Paper).

EU-India Trade Negotiations – Background

India is a fast-growing economy with a large and skilled workforce. India and the EU have been engaged in negotiations on a trade and investment agreement, and on civil aviation and maritime transport, since June 2007. These negotiations are part of a free trade agreement within the framework of the envisaged EU-India Partnership.

Whereas the EU services exports to India accounted for €6.7 billion, in 2007, the EU services imports from India amounted to €5.5 billion, in 2007. India’s growth is a result of the successive deregulation and liberalisation of the Indian economy after the financial crisis, in 1991.

The parameters for an ambitious FTA were set out in the report of the EU-India High Level Trade Group in October 2006. So far, five negotiating rounds have been held. The sixth round is foreseen from 17-19 March 2009 in Delhi, before the Indian Parliament elections in April.”

(Source: European Commission)

For further details on the FTA negotiations between the EU and India see the

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