Nu förhandlar Indien och EU om frihandel (igen)

Dags att lära sig en ny förkortning i handelssammanhang: BTIA (broad-based trade and investment agreement).

Det är Indien och EU som nästa vecka räknar med att återuppta förhandlingarna om ett frihandelsavtal. Den senaste riktiga förhandlingsrundan hölls 2013, det vill säga för ungefär fem år sedan. 

Men under toppmötet mellan EU och Indien förra månaden enades man enligt Mint (Asit Ranjan Mishra) om att göra ett nytt försök. Och säga vad man vill. Indien är en jättemarknad och seglar snabbt upp som en ekonomisk stormakt. Positivt med andra ord. 

”Negotiations on the India-EU free trade agreement started back in 2007 and 16 rounds of talks have been held since then. The last round was held in 2013, after which negotiations were suspended. Both sides have explored restarting negotiations after the BJP government assumed power in May 2014, but uncertainties over Brexit and inflexibility on both sides have prevented resumption of formal talks.

At the 14th India-EU Summit in Delhi last month, both sides resolved to restart negotiations for BTIA. “The leaders expressed their shared commitment to strengthening the Economic Partnership between India and the EU and noted the ongoing efforts of both sides to re-engage actively towards timely relaunching negotiations for a comprehensive and mutually beneficial India-EU BTIA,” the joint statement said.

“We are not restarting negotiations as yet. This is just a meeting to explore possibilities. In July, we had proposed to hold such a meeting. The EU has now responded positively,” a commerce ministry official said, requesting anonymity.

On the way forward before Brexit, the official said Britain only constitutes around 15% of total trade with EU, and there may not be much problem in moving ahead with negotiations even though both sides need to recalibrate their positions.

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EU is India’s largest trading parter with exports at $47.2 billion in 2016-17 while exports to Britain stood at $8.5 billion during the same period.”

En av stötestenarna har varit investeringsavtalet där Indien har varit tveksam på grund av sina subventioner till industri och jordbruk eftersom handels- och investeringsavtal ofta innehåller krav på att subventioner skall upphöra eller i vilket fall vara generella (Indien har haft samma problem med WTO-reglerna).

”The official said India is unlikely to change its stand on a possible Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between the two sides. India had unilaterally terminated BITs with most EU members earlier this year, asking them to renegotiate the treaty based on a new model BIT passed by the Cabinet in December 2015.

Rejecting a proposal by EU to suspend such termination, India proposed a toned-down version of the BTIA, which would include an investment chapter and avoid contentious issues for the time being. However, the EU didn’t agree. The issue may come up for discussion again during the meeting of the two chief trade negotiators. The model BIT approved by the Cabinet excludes matters relating to taxation. Controversial clauses such as most favoured nation (MFN) have been dropped, while the scope of national treatment, and fair and equitable treatment clauses, have been considerably narrowed down in the model BIT.”

Sammantaget bör man kanske inte ropa hej ännu. Det är mycket som kan gå snett och indierna är inte kända för att snabba på saker. Fortsättning följer.

 

 


Kategorier: Frihandel