India is expected to take a strong position at the upcoming free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with the EU.
At the meeting with the European Trade Commission later on 26 June in Brussels, the Indian delegation, headed by commerce minister Anand Sharma, would focus on the government's achievements including opening up of single-brand retail to foreign direct investment (FDI).
According to the agenda note prepared by the delegation, the FDI policy for multi-brand retail would shortly be introduced with reforms in insurance and civil aviation sectors under consideration.
The DNA newspaper quoted an unnamed commerce ministry official as saying India had taken a step forward by opening up single-brand retail to FDI and remained hopeful that multi-brand retail would also be opened shortly. He added this gave India a strong footing to negotiate on issues related to Mode-4 quota.
Mode-4 quota covers temporary stay in the EU of highly skilled service providers from India.
India also plans to convey to the EU trade commission that it may not be possible to effect reforms in sectors like banking, postal & courier and legal services within the timeframe for concluding this agreement.