India seeks easing of phytosanitary regulations in Europe

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New Delhi, Oct 24 (UNI) India today sought easing of phytosanitary regulations to boost export of floriculture and dairy products to European Union.

During a meeting with Dutch Minister for Economic Affairs, Mrs M J A van der Hoeven here today, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath pointed out that floricultural consignments from India are subjected to 50 per cent mandatory but random checks as against only two per cent on such imports from African countries. Similarly, imports of dairy products into the European Union is permitted only from an approved list of Indian plants, he added. ''We will appreciate if the Dutch could assist in helping to create a level playing field for our exporters on these issues at the EU level.'' Stating that the Netherlands today is among India's top ten trading partners and, in terms of investments, the fourth largest foreign investor, Mr Kamal Nath said there is immense scope to increase bilateral trade, which was 3,826 million dollars in 2006-07.

'' We look forward to larger Dutch investments in India, particularly in priority sectors like agriculture, infrastructure, automotives, biotechnology, food processing and pharmaceuticals,'' he added.

On the multilateral front, Mr Kamal Nath said,'' India looks forward to the conclusion of the Doha Round by the end of 2007 or at the latest by the early part of the next year. India has been engaging constructively and actively with other fellow member countries of the WTO towards this end. Such a conclusion can only be possible if we are faithful to the mandate and the outcome reflects a clear balance between market opening and the development needs of the majority of the membership. India will obviously show flexibility to achieve such an outcome but the onus for movement is clearly with the large developed countries.'' While speaking at the Indo-Dutch CEOs Roundtable, Mr Kamal Nath said FDI equity inflows in India were 5.5 billion dollars in 2005-06 but went up nearly three times to 15.7 billion dollars in 2006-07 and is expected to double to 30 billion dollars in the current financial year.

UNI

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