EU’s wines, cars may get cheaper
The government is indicating flexibility in reducing import duties on wines & spirits and automobiles as part of the long-pending free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU).
The two products were among a bunch of a set of contentious issues where India was unwilling to lower import duties a few years ago, resulting in a deadlock.
But efforts have begun to resume dialogue on the Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) in recent months with Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagging the issue with German chancellor Angela Merkel. This was followed by commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal following it up with Merkel and also writing to Phil Hogan, the new EU trade commissioner, sources told TOI.
Goyal has publicly spoken about India’s willingness to engage with the EU and even the US for a bilateral trade agreement.
India has made a pitch after it decided to stay away from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement — the mega trade block comprising China, Japan, Korea, the Asean countries, Australia and New Zealand.