NEW DELHI, MARCH 16: The stalled negotiations for India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) might finally get kick started with Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk.
The meeting will be held on March 30 in Brussels during the 13th EU-India Summit. The last India-EU Summit was held in New Delhi in 2012.
This will be Modi’s first bilateral summit-level meeting with Juncker and Tusk.
“A lot of issues have piled up which need to be ironed out,” a top official told BusinessLine adding that the topmost items on the Prime Minister’s agenda will be to revive the talks on the BTIA.
He will also bat for removing the non-tariff barriers on Indian pharma exports to the European markets.
Both strategic partners have locked horns on the free trade agreement (FTA) talks with no formal negotiations taking place since 2012.
India has insisted that the FTA negotiations should resume from the beginning as some of the important provisions concerning tariff elimination on automobiles and wines and spirits were discussed during the previous UPA regime.
Besides, Modi has made it clear that India would not budge if it does not obtain the ‘Data Secured Nation’ status from the EU. Such a grant will lead to more outsourcing business flowing into India.
Sources indicated that both sides “have a lot to of issues to iron out”.
On the pharma exports issue, sources said India is also contemplating dragging EU to the WTO over their stringent trademark rules.
The EU had recently ruled that the European trademark owner can impound any drug consignment if it violates their norms on packaging or logos.
“This is just unacceptable. Hopefully this will get settled during the summit,” said another official involved in the talks.