India-EU trade talks to begin on Monday | india | Hindustan Times
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India-EU trade talks to begin on Monday

India and European Union will begin talks on Monday to explore ways for widening bilateral trade and investment relationship.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2006 11:32 IST

Carrying forward their initiative to enhance economic cooperation, India and European Union will begin talks on Monday to explore ways for widening bilateral trade and investment relationship.

The EU-India High-Level Trade Group, formed during British Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit in September last year, will discuss bilateral trade issues and may also study the possibility of launching negotiations on a broad-based trade and investment agreement.

Commerce Secretary SN Menon and European Commission Director General for Trade David O Sullivan would lead the two delegations during the talks on February 13-14.

This is the second meeting of the group after the one in Brussels during November 2005.

The Group is part of the decisions taken by Blair and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the India-EU Summit last year when they agreed to upgrade India-EU relationship to a Strategic Partnership.

The group will submit its report to the next EU-India Summit scheduled for October 2006 in Helsinki, Finland.

Coming shortly after the Hong Kong WTO Ministerial and the recent mini-ministerial at Davos, the meeting assumes significance given that the two sides are at the opposite sides in multilateral trade talks.

Though the two sides have expressed willingness to cooperate for the successful completion of the Doha Development Round, differences have persisted, especially in farm and industrial goods.

First Published: Feb 12, 2006 11:32 IST