Economy

Ministry complains of ‘roadblocks’ in India-EU ties

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 17, 2018

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Says ‘outstanding issues’ persist in BTIA talks

In a little more than three months after the India-EU summit, the government on Wednesday pointed at “roadblocks” that are hampering the expansion of India’s trade ties with the European Union (EU).

 

“There are some roadblocks that continue to persist in enhancing our trade relations with the EU. We hope that we can work towards addressing them,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in Portugal while addressing the Horasis India Meeting.

 

She said Indian companies are finding it increasingly difficult to access the European markers due to the rising non-tariff barriers in the form of technical regulations, phytosanitary measures, industrial standards, conformity assessments or barriers to services exports.

 

“We need to address such barriers … Increased market access to Indian products and services in the EU market would create healthy conditions for placing our two-way trade on an even keel and energising our economies,” she said.

 

On the pending India-EU Broadbased Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), the External Affairs Minister said although India is seeking an early conclusion to the talks, there are still some “outstanding issues” that continue to persist.

 

She said chief negotiators from both sides would be meeting soon in Delhi and talks will be resumed.

 

Interestingly, she said some of the recent measures taken by her government would be able to address some of the pending demands of the EU.

 

The minister was hinting at the recent easing of foreign direct investment norms in a slew of sectors from food to defence.

 

Brexit  

 

More than a week after Britain exited the EU, Swaraj said the Indian economy is “well prepared” to deal with the situation due to strong fundamentals.

 

“As for the Indian economy, we are well prepared to deal with the short and medium-term consequences of Brexit. Our macro-economic fundamentals are sound and focused on maintaining stability with a very comfortable external position, a rock-solid commitment to fiscal discipline, and declining inflation,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said at the Horasis India Meeting 2016 underway in Portugal.

 

Swaraj said there are no immediate or medium-term threats too as the country has a “healthy reserve position.” She added that India is poised to contribute growth and financial stability in the 27-nation bloc.

 

However, she did admit that all countries, including India, will have to “brace themselves for a period of possible turbulence while taking measures to minimise its impacts.”

 

Britain voted to leave the EU, popularly called ‘Brexit’, on June 23. 

Published on July 05, 2016

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