Investment protection pact in India-EU free trade agreement
Berlin: An investment protection pact will be included in the proposed India-EU free trade agreement and the two sides will try to resolve issues concerning duty cut in the automobile sector in the high-level meet in Brussels on April 14.
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma also said data security, another contentious issue, will also figure in the Brussels meet.
Speaking to reporters here about his forthcoming meeting with EU trade commissioner Karl De Gucht, Sharma said India has demanded data secure status from the 27-nation bloc.
Sharma is accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who is here for the second round of Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) with Germany.
India is among the countries that are not considered data secure by the European Union (EU). This prevents flow of sensitive data such as patient information for telemedicine to India under data protection laws in the EU.
Data secure status is one of the primary demands made by India in its negotiations for a free trade agreement with EU.
Sharma said if EU had given this status to the US then they should extend this status to India we well.
The minister said issues related with duty cuts in the automobile sector would be discussed at the ministerial level meeting in Brussels.
The EU is pressing hard for significant duty cuts in the auto sector, a move which was strongly opposed by the Indian auto industry.
India is in talks with the EU, its biggest trading partner, since June 2007 for liberalising their commerce in goods, services and investment through an FTA.
The FTA would involve slashing of duties on over 90 per cent of the trade and opening up of the mutual markets for services and investment.
The two-way trade stood at USD 91.3 billion in 2010-11.
India has signed BIPA (bilateral investment protection agreement) with 82 countries.