labels: economy - general, trade
Visa rules to ease under FTA with India, says EUnews
16 February 2007

Mumbai: Freer movement of Indian professionals in the 25 European Union member countries would become a reality with the successful conclusion of EU-India free trade negations, reports quoting director-general for trade of the European Commission Davis O''Sullivan as saying.

The issue of free movement of professionals, which is critical for India, is likely to become a reality in the near future, as this will be a key point of negotiations in the proposed free trade agreement with EU, he said.

India, in return, should also relax restrictions on foreign ownership in services of interest to Europe like retail, financial sector and telecom, he pointed out.

Sullivan said the India-EU FTA negotiations would start in April after the council of ministers of Europe grants the mandate to the European Commission.

The FTA proposes to cut duties to zero on 90 per cent of goods traded between India and Europe.

Sullivan said, although Europe subsidises its farmers heavily, India would not become a dumping ground for its agriculture produce. Besides, he pointed out, Europe is not a major exporter of agriculture products.

India has been demanding at the WTO and bilateral trade negations that professionals, especially in information technology, medicine and engineering, should be given liberal visas to work on short-term projects agreements.

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Visa rules to ease under FTA with India, says EU