India to talk over BITA with European Union
India is expected to discuss a Bilateral Investment and Trade Agreement (BITA) with the European Union by the end of year 2012. This was agreed at a meeting b/w the Commerce minister Mr Anand Sharma and the EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht in Brussels, Belgium. During the meeting, the Indian side sought comfort and clarity on the market access being made available to it and asked for an assurance that they are really effective on the ground.
India stressed for better access and elimination of safeguard clauses that may hinder the actual realization of concessions given by the EU. India also demanded more access for domestic industry and agricultural products. The European part put across its concern regarding market access and patent issues.
As per an estimate, the bilateral trade b/w India and the EU stood at over $108 billion in 2011. In exports, it was over 41 billion US dollars in 2010, which increased to around $ 55 billion in 2011.