Despite long-running negotiations, there appears little prospect that the EU-India Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement will be signed in 2014, as the differences between the two have turned out even more challenging than initially expected.
Negotiations began in 2007, hoping to link the world’s largest single market with one of the fastest growing economies in a mutually complimentary trade relationship. While some issues have been successfully negotiated, differences over automobiles, food safety, spirits, services and procurement so far remain unresolved.
Until such an agreement can be concluded, EU-India trade relations are regulated under their WTO commitments. Several recent disputes between India and the EU at WTO level illustrate the difficulties faced in the trading relationship.
The two disputes raised by the EU concern various Indian anti-dumping measures and taxes and other duties on alcohol. India has started consultations regarding EU antidumping measures on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) imports. The dispute India raised over seizures of generic medicines in transit through the EU has been resolved by mutual agreement, but there are significant prospects of the issue arising again.