EU-India summit: Will the EU manage to sign a free trade agreement with India before Britain?

Visit by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EC, and Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the EC, to India
Date: 06/10/2017. © European Union , 2017 Source: EC-Audiovisual Service

Last Friday, the 14th EU-India summit took place in New Delhi with both sides to jointly state that trade partnership is approaching rapidly and as soon as all conditions are met. The free trade agreement negotiations have started in 2007 but have not concluded yet as there are unsolved issues related mainly to market access.

Apart from trade and investment, Europe and India talked also about clean energy and climate change, combatting terrorism and smart and sustainable urbanization. EU seems to rush up things in order to establish a trade partnership with India before Britain.

EU-India trade relations

Europe is the largest trading partner of India accounting for more than 100 billion euros of goods and services exchanges. Approximately 6.000 EU firms have been established in India creating five million jobs in India while the same has been done by Indian companies in Europe. EU exports to India include mostly engineering goods reaching 37% while gems and jewellery account for 19%. Furthermore, 20% of EU imports from India are textiles and clothing, 15% are chemical and allied products and 15% engineering goods.

Particularly, Doland Tusk, president of the European Council, stated on the relations between the EU and India: “I am happy that today we have agreed to further develop the political dimension of our relationship; that we have agreed to develop our dynamic trade and invetsment relations and that we have agreed to step up cooperation on global and regional issues.”

EU or Britain?

Will it be the Old Continent which is going to sign first a bilateral trade agreement with India or Britain? The 14th summit between the bloc and India showed that the EU officials are promoting quickly this strategic partnership ensuring that market access for goods is improved by eliminating tariff lines.

On the other hand, India is on top of UK’s priority regarding its potential trading and investment partners after leaving the EU in 2019. Therefore, Britain intends to increase exports to India by more than two billion pounds per year.

However, Vince Cable, leader of the fourth largest party in the United Kingdom, mentioned that Britain is not going to negotiate a free trade agreement with India. More specifically, Mr Cable stated: “A UK-India FTA is not going to happen. Why should the Indian government give preference to 60 million people when there are 500 million in the EU? When the Indian Government asks if we at going to give more visas, Theresa May runs for the door. If we continue to stay in the EU then we can continue to work on an FTA with India as part of the EU”.

Climate change

Both EU and India consider climate action as a prerequisite for the future of their societies. They have confirmed the Paris Agreement ensuring the effective implementation of their respective nationally determined contributions. What is more, the Old Continent and India base their future partnership on their mutual collaboration on climate change. EU Energy Union’s Strategy, 2030 energy targets and policies to develop an electricity system in India, which can reliably integrate large shares of renewable energy, are among their goals.

Terrorism

The leaders of EU and India restated their willingness to combat terrorism and extremism wherever and by whoever committed. As mentioned in the summit, it is imperative that “all perpetrators of terrorism are brought to justice”. The desperate need for actions urged the leaders to proceed to conclusion of the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations in order to be protected from terrorism and violence.

Smart and sustainable urbanization

Both sides accepted the fact that EU and India have to deal with increasing urban population. A common endeavour is needed through an India-EU dialogue on smart and sustainable urban development. Moreover, this joint partnership could enable the European Investment Bank to participate aiming to implementation of sustainable urban development related projects. The latter could lead to further development with opportunities on investment.

All in all, Europe is creating a great momentum to increase its growth through partnership with India under a free trade agreement the moment that UK shows that is far behind the bilateral trade deals. However, it remains to be seen whether all conditions related to market access are going to be met opening thus a new chapter in the EU-India relationships.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

What the Amazon rain forest tells us about globalization

CEOs in these countries are more likely to go with their gut

Nuclear weapons in Lithuania: defence against Russia or target for terrorists?

Corruption thwarts attempts to build a better world and ‘must be fought by all, for all’

3 strategies for Africa to thrive in this new era of globalization

UN urges ‘maximum restraint’ as Israel-Hamas tensions rise over rocket attack

Countries should focus on labour market policies to help refugees and improve coordinated actions to tackle illegal immigration

Stability in Europe has no chances because of Ukraine

Human rights experts call for ‘paradigm shift’ on arbitrary detention in Qatar

Young people are not a nameless, faceless mass. So why do we treat them as such?

Can Pakistan make its energy sector greener, cheaper and more reliable? The government thinks so

Maduro ‘brings the truth’ about Venezuela to UN Assembly; says he is ready to meet US President Trump

Bold measures needed to protect cross-border and seasonal workers in EU, MEPs say

Security Council calls for dialogue in Haiti

Coronavirus could worsen hunger in the developing world

Two rhythms and a sharpened pencil: how art can help us heal and make sense of the world

State aid: Commission invites comments on State aid rules for the deployment of broadband networks

Approving most of EU’s accounts, EP requests new measures to protect EU spending

From Shadows to Sunlight, Paraguay’s Road to Transparency

UN health agency spotlights stalled effort to close health divide across Europe, in new report

Brexit: political groups discuss options for an orderly withdrawal

High-tech or ‘high-touch’: UK survey gives clues to the jobs of the future

The Brexit factor in the US-China trade war and other conflicts

Your smartphone may know more about your mental health than you

Mass measles vaccination campaign begins in Ebola-hit DR Congo province

For how long and at what cost can the ECB continue printing trillions to keep euro area going?

The European reaction to the neo-fascist wind

The issue of mental health for modern young doctors

How energy infrastructure is shaping geopolitics in East Asia

EU cross-border payments outside Eurozone: MEPs scrap excessive fees

Russia won’t let Ukraine drift westwards in one piece

Use “blockchain” model to cut small firms’ costs and empower citizens, urge MEPs

Confronting neo-mercantilism: why regulation is critical to global trade

A Europe that protects: EU customs seized over 31 million fake goods at EU borders in 2017

This tech company is aiming to plant 500 billion trees by 2060 – using drones

These are the regions where people have most faith in their schools

6 steps every country must take now to prevent coronavirus deaths: WHO Director-General

Telemedicine in Brazilian favelas: The medicine of social isolation transforming public health

The next 48 hours may change the European Union

Plastic Oceans: MEPs back EU ban on throwaway plastics by 2021

The EU accuses Russia of bullying Ukraine to change sides

“Is Europe innovative? Oh, Yes we are very innovative!”, Director General of the European Commission Mr Robert-Jan Smits on another Sting Exclusive

The US will impose tariffs on Mexico, says President Trump

The Eurogroup+ is born to govern the EU Banking Union

EU fight against tax-evasion and money laundering blocked by Britain

There is no greater sorrow on earth than the loss of one’s native land

This is how COVID-19 is affecting informal workers

25 years on from genocide against the Tutsi, UN Chief warns of ‘dangerous trends of rising xenophobia, racism and intolerance’

How technology can help India breathe more easily

Why it’s good to turn your colleagues into friends

Thailand gave healthcare to its entire population and the results were dramatic

How much more political is the new EU leadership? Does this include personal bend?

How can coronavirus lockdowns end safely and effectively? – WHO briefing

EU prolongs economic sanctions on Russia by six months

With potential to boost profits by up to 20 per cent, a woman’s place is at work, says UN labour agency

Is it impossible to place the banks under control?

ITU Telecom World 2016: it’s all about working together

Commission steps up EU action to protect and restore the world’s forests

Banks promise easing of credit conditions in support of the real economy

What can smallpox teach us about how we’ve managed COVID-19?

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s