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India

India

The EU and India hope to increase their trade in both goods and services and investment through the Free Trade Agreement negotiations launched in 2007.

Following the EU-India Summit in February 2012 negotiations entered an intense phase. Important issues include market access for goods, the overall ambition of the services package and achieving a meaningful chapter on government procurement.

Trade picture

  • India is an important trade partner for the EU and an emerging global economic power. The country combines a sizable and growing market of more than 1 billion people.
  • The value of EU-India trade grew from €28.6 billion in 2003 to €79.9 billion in 2011.
  • EU investment in India more than tripled between 2003 and 2010: going from €759million in 2003 to €3 billion in 2010. 
  • Trade in commercial services tripled during the same time period, going from €5.2billion in 2002 to €17.9 billion in 2010.

EU-India "trade in goods" statistics

Trade in goods 2010-2012, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2010 33.3 34.9 1.6
2011 39.6 40.6 0.9
2012 37.3 38.5 1.1

EU-India "trade in services" statistics

Trade in services 2010-2012, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2010 9.1 10.8 1.7
2011 10.8 11.3 0.5
2012 11.0 11.5 0.5

Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2011, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2011 10.1 46.4 36.4

More statistics on India

EU and India

India has embarked on a process of economic reform and progressive integration with the global economy that aims to put it on a path of rapid and sustained growth. However, India's trade regime and regulatory environment remains comparatively restrictive (for example see the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index). India still maintains substantial tariff and non-tariff barriers that hinder trade with the EU. In addition to tariff barriers to imports, India also imposes a number of non-tariff barriers in the form of quantitative restrictions, import licensing, mandatory testing and certification for a large number of products, as well as complicated and lengthy customs procedures.

With its combination of rapid growth, complementary trade baskets and relatively high market protection, India is an obvious partner for a free trade agreement (FTA) for the EU.

The parameters for an ambitious FTA were set out in the report of the EU-India High Level Trade Group in October 2006, which was tasked with assessing the viability of an FTA between the EU and India. Other studies have reinforced the economic potential of an FTA between the EU and India, notably a sustainability impact assessment was carried out by the EU.

Negotiations for a comprehensive FTA were started in June 2007 and are ongoing. This would be one of the most significant trade agreements, touching the lives of 1.7 billion people.

India enjoys trade preferences with the EU under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences.

To assist India in its efforts to better integrate into the world economy – with a view to further enhancing bilateral trade and investment ties – the EU is providing trade related technical assistance to India. This is part of the EU's assistance programmes with India.

Trading with India