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India Brussels, 17 November 2011

Statement on the state of play of the EU-India FTA negotiations by EU Trade Spokesman John Clancy

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"This is a very important deal for the EU and India. There are some important issues outstanding and only an ambitious agreement will bring significant benefits. But the EU and India are working with full steam ahead to find solutions which are acceptable to both sides. Intense negotiations will therefore continue over the coming months to effectively solve the remaining core issues between now and the EU-India Summit, which is scheduled for 10 February.", said John Clancy, EU Trade Spokesman.

Background:

Negotiations were launched in June 2007. They are currently in a crucial phase with both sides trying to find solutions to the outstanding issues which are mutually acceptable. The EU has said consistently from the beginning that this deal needs to be ambitious in order to deliver significant benefits to both sides. Further work is required in particular on tariffs, services and procurement. In order to tackle these issues effectively, intense negotiating activity is expected in between now and the EU-India Summit on 10 February. This includes technical level discussions on services and establishment this week, expert level negotiations on non-tariff barriers during week of 21 November, chief negotiators discussions during week of 5 December to discuss all outstanding issues and further engagement between senior officials in mid December. Studies confirm that the more ambitious the FTA, the more beneficial it will be. In the short run alone, India is expected to gain €5bn Euros and the EU over €4bn.