Kohima: The proposed India-European Union free trade agreement (FTA), which seeks to liberalise trade in goods and services, could be materialised by this year, EU Ambassador to India Joao Cravinho has said.
   
"We are looking forward for a positive outcome by this year," Cravinho, who led a 8-member team of diplomats to Nagaland, said at a meeting with industrialists at Dimapur.
   
Interacting with members of Dimapur Chambers of Commerce and Industry and CII Nagaland unit on Wednesday evening, he said "as the ambassador of the EU, my job is to see the overall structure on the working of the FTA".
   
India and the 27-nation bloc are negotiating the pact since June 2007. However, talks are stuck on issues like easing visa regulations for Indian professionals and reduction in tariffs on cars and spirits imported from the EU.
   
It is believed that the FTA, once concluded, will create billions of dollars of new trade and opportunities for Indian and European firms. The two-way trade stood at USD 91.3 bn in 2010-11.
   
During the recent India-EU Summit here, the two sides agreed to expedite the discussions to conclude the pact soon. With the meeting with the industrialists, Cravinho and the diplomats from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Germany, Poland and Slovakia wrapped up their Nagaland trip and left for Arunachal Prdeash on Wednesday.

(Agencies)


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