Stating that negotiations between India and the European Union (EU) were moving in the right direction and there was no delay, the European Commission on Friday said the India-EU free trade agreement (FTA) was likely to be finalised by the first quarter of 2012. “There are couple of nuts to be cracked. That is not a matter of delay. Still the bit has to be finalised if both the sides are inspired to have an ambitious pact and India is interested in results and so are we,” Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner ICT told journalists here.
Ms. Kroes, who is on a two-day visit to India, said delay was not a nice word to describe the negotiations. She is leading a delegation for digital agenda and had a meeting with the Communication and IT Minister, Kapil Sibal, here to discuss the digital agenda. Besides Information and Communications Technology (ICT), the EU is looking to cooperate in research and innovation in areas such as transport, energy and health. EU was providing 50 million euro for 35 projects in India, she said. On the ongoing eurozone crisis, Ms. Kroes said these were hectic times, rough weather no doubt about that. “We are not talking about currency crisis. We are talking of debt crisis. EU currency is second in the world game,” she said.
Meanwhile, Trade and Economic Affairs Counsellor, Delegation of European Union to India, Peter Young, said: “Both India and EU were discussing the outcome that will be the core of the deal. We are not talking about delay, but we are coming to a conclusion,” he said.