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'Remove barriers for professionals'

Commerce Minister Kamal Nath emphasised on the need for facilitating professionals to travel across EU countries.

india Updated: Sep 07, 2005 21:06 IST
Reuters
Reuters
PTI

India on Wednesday sought greater market access for its services and goods in European Union and said increasingly stringent standards, complex rules and procedures as also frequent use of trade defence instruments were emerging as serious barriers to enhance economic cooperation between the two partners.

Noting that an ambitious Joint Action Plan had been drawn up by both sides at the highest level to take India-EU partnership forward, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said: "Trade must play a central role in the development of this relationship.

"The fundamental requirement for such a model is a liberal and easy regime allowing for the free movement of natural persons. I emphasise that I do not speak of immigration, but the need to facilitate professionals to travel if this type of economic engagement is to be properly serviced," he said at the Sixth India-EU summit here.

Asking EU to address the issue of non-tariff barriers to India's exports, he said: "Indian trade and industry circles feel that while Indian economy has liberalised and markets have been opened up offering new vistas to global trade and industry, reciprocal benefits have not flowed from the developed world to us.

"While tariffs may be low, the developed world markets are becoming increasingly difficult to penetrate. The mounting stringency of standards, cumbersome and complex rules and procedures as also frequent use of trade defence instruments were emerging as serious barriers to enhance economic cooperation", he said.

Nath pointed out at the market access problem faced by agro and marine export to EU because of Sanitary and PhytoSanitary related legislations and said, "Not all such standards are in conformity with the international ones and are often based on excessive precaution and perceived rather than real risk".

Describing India as big player in global economy, EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said India had much to gain from its integration with the international economy but it should be prepared to take concerted action on further opening up.

He said for India to achieve the target of removing poverty, it was important to pump investment in the economy and, "barriers to FDI will have to fall if this is to be achieved".

Alan Jhonson, UK Minister for trade and industry said EU placed enormous value on its relationship with India and the Joint Action Plan symbolised evolution of the relationship.

First Published: Sep 07, 2005 11:18 IST