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India-EU FTA: Top officials hold second round of talks

NEW DELHI: Chief negotiators of India and the EU today held the second round of talks on the stalled free trade agreement on which the discussions had started in June 2007.

"Both the sides have discussed all the issues regarding intellectual property rights and investments," a source said. 

Although the technical level talks between the two sides started on Monday, the three-day deliberations between the chief negotiators started yesterday. 

India and the 27-nation bloc have been negotiating a 
Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement ( BTIA) which aims at slashing or eliminating duties on over 90 per cent of the goods traded between the countries besides liberalising services and investments sector. 

However, substantial gaps have yet to be bridged on several issues. 

Besides significant duty cuts in automobiles, EU is pressing for tax reduction in wines and spirits and dairy products, a hike in 
FDI cap in the insurance sector and a strong intellectual property regime. 

On the other hand, India wants liberalised visa norms for its professionals, data secure status and market access in services and pharmaceuticals sector. 

The total trade between India and the EU stood at USD 94.43 billion during April-February 2012-13. It had aggregated to $109.86 billion in the entire 2011-12 fiscal.