India - European Union to hold new round of trade talks

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New Delhi, Jan 18 (ANI): The European Union Head to India Daniele Smadja said here on Monday that a European Union delegation is visiting India from January 25 to hold negotiations.

The negations will include issues of environment, free trade and labour.

"The talks are making progress. Issues like market access, public procurement, sustainable development and intellectual property rights will be discussed," Smadja said.

In 2007 India and European Union started negotiations for the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), but talks have been dragging on due to differences over intellectual property rights.

On the other hand, the European Union is demanding to link trade with climate and other extraneous issues like child labour.

Both sides have held eight rounds of talks till date.

Smadja said that she was hopeful of progress now because of the political impetus from an India- European Union summit late last year.

"So we know what are the objectives which were reconfirmed at the highest level during the summit," she said.

"Now I'm tempted to say at last we are sure that the mandate, you know the bureaucrats, the negotiators, the entire chain of command is clear about direction," Smadja added. By Shreeraj Gudi (ANI)

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