India is on the way to becoming the world’s most populous country, and is enhancing its economic, diplomatic and military power. This south Asian country is a key strategic partner for the EU: diplomatic relations between the EU and India are long established, and the relationship has expanded from essentially trade and development ties into cooperation at all levels. The intensification of the partnership has resulted in the drafting recently of the EU-India Agenda 2020, which identifies priority areas for political, economic and sectoral action.
A free trade agreement is currently being negotiated between the Commission and the Indian Government with a view to increasing the benefits from an already successful economic partnership — the EU is India’s biggest trading partner.
India has very significant comparative advantages based on a highly qualified workforce coupled with relatively low economic costs. India is also set to become the world’s biggest consumer market in the coming decades.
How does the Commission intend to achieve a balanced free trade agreement with India which also best safeguards the Union’s economic interests, particularly as regards access to the Indian car market?