Free trade pact between India and EU good for global economy: Mandelson

November 29th, 2007 - 9:12 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Nov 29 (ANI): A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and the European Union would boost both the economies and would shore up global demand, EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said here today.
He said strong growth has made the Indian economy, the second fastest-growing major economy after China, an integral part of maintaining global economic demand.
“By deepening the economic integration, both the EU and India gain. Both sides get new markets for their goods, bigger engine for their growth. An FTA (Free Trade Agreement) will significantly increase Indian exports to the European Union, and EU imports and investments in my view have a valuable role in stimulating further the Indian economy,” Mandelson said.
Mandelson said the EU was fully prepared to address issues of non-tariff barriers and intellectual property rights as it negotiates the free trade pact with India.
Union Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath restated the position that India wanted to conclude the FTA by the end of 2008.
Nath added that India was looking for 90 percent of the items it trade with the EU to be included in the agreement, and said he expects the Europeans to place 95 percent of their tradable items on the agenda.
“What we look at EU is not only for trade practices. We have an old association,” Nath said. The EU is increasingly drawing up a web of free trade pacts in Asia after the United States and Japan made inroads to tap into the high growth potential of the fast growing Asian economies.
European trade officials want to deepen discussions on sensitive areas with India, such as removing barriers to trade in services, intellectual property protection and public procurement.
The EU is India’s largest trading partner, accounting for a fifth of India’s total trade, and is also one of its most important sources of foreign investment. (ANI)

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