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India, EU deal on services access

business Updated: Dec 10, 2010 21:13 IST
HT Correspondent

India and the European Union (EU) on Friday agreed to give each other market access in services as deliberations on inking a free-trade agreement (FTA) entered the final leg.

"The EU and India agree that the final outcome should provide real additional market opportunities for both sides. This will be reflected in offers which will be exchanged by early date," a joint report on the state of play of negotiations for the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) said.

Recognising the substantive progress made in many chapters, the EU and India agree to expedite the process for concluding the negotiations by the spring of 2011.

To this end, both sides have agreed to intensify work on all pending areas and to meet at the chief negotiators level on at least a monthly basis.

A meeting of the commerce secretary and the director general of trade will take place in early 2011 and a ministerial meeting will be held in March of 2011, the report said.

Negotiations for a bilateral trade and investment agreement between the EU and India were launched in June 2007.

"As of today, significant progress has been made in most areas of the negotiations and closure has been achieved in several areas. Engagement has been intensified in all areas requiring additional work and both sides intend to make all necessary efforts to conclude negotiations in the spring of 2011," it said.