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Implementation of the proposed free-trade agreement between India and the European Union (EU) will benefit both the sides and the domestic businesses will welcome the resumption of formal negotiations on the long-stalled pact, industry body CII said on Saturday.
The proposed Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) between the two sides has been stalled since May 2013 as both sides are yet to iron out differences over several issues. The BTIA is a kind of comprehensive free trade agreement being negotiated by the two sides.
Speaking at the EU India Business Roundtable, CII Director-General Chandrajit Banerjee said that BTIA will really benefit the EU with better access to the huge and rapidly growing Indian market and India with technology and innovation access.
“Several rounds (of talks) held until 2013, but the negotiations could not be completed as differences remain over some key issues. But Indian industry will welcome a resumption of formal negotiations for the BTIA and is ready to support the negotiations in any way possible,” he said.
He also said that both the regions need to focus on investment facilitation and protection. Speaking at the function, Markus J. Beyrer, Director General of Business Europe Confederation of European Business, said he completely agreed with CII Director General on resuming the FTA talks.
Confederation of Portuguese Business President Antonio Saraiva informed that CII has inked an MoU with them to increase business cooperation between the two countries. India’s exports to EU member countries stood at about USD 54 billion in 2019-20, while imports aggregated at USD 52 billion.