New Delhi, Jan11: The European Union is keen to have a strong Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India as soon as possible, said Carlos Bermejo-Acosta, the chief of the Economic and Trade Section of the European Union delegation, here today. Speaking at a conference here on "EU-India FTA in context of India's FTA Policy: Costs, Benefits and Prospects", Bermejo-Acosta said that he was optimistic of a strong EU-India FTA in the near future because India's political and ruling fraternity too was interested in such an agreement with the EU.
However, Fredrik Erixon, Director of the European Centre for International Political Economy, Brussels said he did not share the optimism of Bermejo-Acosta.
"A strong FTA with EU is very difficult because of the fact that there were 27 sets of different rules and regulations across the EU which are big hurdles for investment and business," he said.
Razeen Sally, Senior Fellow, Observer Research Foundation (ORF), said he was also not optimistic about a strong FTA with the EU because India still does not have such an agreement with any of its trading partners.
India has FTAs with only few Asian countries like Sri Lanka, Singapore and Thailand.
Sally further added that states in India also have different kinds of tariffs and regulations like various members of the EU making it difficult for a FTA.