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India hopeful of tying up trade pact with EU

Commerce minister Anand Sharma today expressed hope that India will finally ink its long pending free trade agreement with European Union by mid-April, when the ministerial delegation meets EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht.

business Updated: Mar 22, 2013 21:47 IST
HT Correspondent

Commerce minister Anand Sharma on Friday expressed hope that India will finally ink its long pending free trade agreement (FTA) with European Union (EU) by mid-April, when the ministerial delegation meets EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht.

The ministerial meeting is scheduled for April 14-15 in Brussels, Belgium. Sharma was addressing media after inaugurating the two-day Mint Luxury Conference here.

"It will be (a) most ambitious trade agreement for India covering 96% of India's tariff lines. As we speak, the chief trade negotiators of both sides are closeted in Brussels. If they are sitting there for the third day consecutively, they must be making some progress," Sharma said.

Sharma said India's large population of aspirational youth offer great potential for luxury brands. "Each state of India has its signature. When you engage with India, look at the richness and diversity, its potential and its creativity," he said.