Summit is fresh impetus to EU-India FTA talks: Juncker

Morning Current Affairs 6 October 2017

But the EU negotiating party will point to the launch of an investment facilitation mechanism for EU investors in India and the strong engagement of the European Investment Bank in India as positive steps forward. Prime Minister Modi told reporters that the two sides have agreed to work in close cooperation against terrorism.

Both India and the European Union also expressed deep concern at the recent spate of violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state that has triggered the outflow of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people into neighbouring Bangladesh.

On India's demand that it be declared a data-secure country as part of the BTIA, Juncker said he had stressed the need for both sides to agree to high standards of data protection. However, they have repeatedly failed to reach an agreement on the deal, facing significant spats on such issues as intellectual property rights, and duty cuts in automobile and alcohol production. Indian software service providers have specialised in offering back office and information technology (IT) services to European companies.

Talks on an EU-India Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement - which seeks to improve market access for goods by eliminating tariff lines - began in 2007, but have stalled since 2013. Many of these services and jobs that go with them depend on exchange of data.

He asserted that data protection was a precondition for exchanging personal data freely and fully.

Barca closed stadium to show support for Catalan voters - Bartomeu
FC Barcelona played its 3-0 victory over Las Palmas in an empty Camp Nou on Sunday after a series of heated political events. Barcelona had openly backed the referendum and criticised the Spanish government for trying to impede the vote.

India is high on the UK's list of potential trading partners once it leaves the European Union in 2019, with estimates suggesting Britain can increase exports to its Commonwealth partner by more than £2billion per year simply by cutting European Union red tape.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that India received around United States dollars 83 billion of foreign direct investment from Europe during 2000-17, which constitutes approximately 24 per cent of total FDI inflows into the country during the period.

The 2016 Summit, held in Brussels, gave a new momentum to our Strategic Partnership through the adoption of a number of joint initiatives and declarations, including the EU-India Agenda for Action 2020.

India and the European Union today emphasised that connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognised global norms, transparency and equality, seen as an apparent reference to China's OBOR project.

Besides economic ties, the two agreed to step up cooperation in countering violent extremism and radicalization, particularly online, and in enhancing maritime security in the Indian Ocean and beyond, as well as working together to address climate change. He also welcomed the resumption of tactical exercise in the Gulf of Aden between EU's Naval Force Atlanta and the Indian Navy.

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