EU seeks extension for investment treaties

EU seeks extension for investment treaties

With most of the investment treaties with European Nation member countries expiring in the coming months, the European Union has urged India to extend bilateral investment treaties by six more months. They say it will be helpful in carrying forward the free trade agreement (FTA) talk.

“It will be helpful if trade and investment pacts can be extended for six months. The issue has become a problem for the FTA talks,” Chair of the European Union delegation for relations with India Geoffrey Van Orden told reporters.

He was talking to reporters after a high-level European Parliament delegation met Indian authorities earlier in the day.

India and EU are negotiating a free trade pact since June 2007. The talks have been stalled on several issues including intellectual property rights. The two sides are also trying to negotiate duties and taxes on products and market access.

While EU is demanding significant duty cuts on automobiles, wines, spirits and dairy products, India is asking for granting ‘data secure nation’ status to it by the EU that will help IT companies. EU is also seeking a strong intellectual property regime.

Orden said the aim of the delegation is also to understand India’s views on the US President Donald Trump’s administration, discuss issues relating to Pakistan and matters concerning India-EU ties.

The delegation is likely to meet Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, among other leaders.

India's current trade and investment agreement with The Netherlands has come to an end in November. Agreements with many other EU countries are coming to end in the next few months.

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