India and European Union are likely to sign a framework agreement next week to kickstart negotiations on a comprehensive pact for trade in goods and services as well as investment flows between the two sides.
"The negotiations on a comprehensive trade and investment agreement will start after both sides agree to a framework agreement at the India-EU summit in Helsinki, Finland," official sources said.
The framework pact is expected to figure in the joint declaration to be made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Finnish counterpart Matti Vanhanen, who is hosting the Summit since Finland holds EU presidency.
Sources said the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement between the two sides would also form a part of the discussion on the comprehensive agreement.
At the summit beginning October 11, the high-level trade group between India and EU, which is examining the feasibility of a comprehensive economic agreement, will submit its report.
The trade group was set up as part of the India-EU strategic partnership joint action plan adopted at the sixth India-EU Summit in September 2005. The group was asked to explore ways to boost bilateral trade and investments.
An India-EU CEOs round table would also be established during the summit, where top business leaders would discuss issues to promote trade and investment.