Commonwealth Trade Hot Topics

The Trade Hot Topics series provides concise and informative analyses of various trade and trade-related issues which are prepared both by Commonwealth Secretariat and international experts.


An EU-India Free Trade Agreement

Reflections on the Implications for Excluded Countries

In October 2006 a European Union–Indian High Level Trade Group agreed the parameters for an ambitious Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two. For Europe, this was part of the EU’s ‘Global Europe’ initiative which aimed at setting up trade agreements with large and rapidly growing markets around the world. For India, this provided the prospect of preferential access to one of its major markets, which already accounted for more than a quarter of its exports. The mutual mercantile attractions of the two partners are thus not hard to see. However, there is scope to be concerned about whether an FTA is the right approach, whether the FTA that actually emerges will be appropriate to the challenges and opportunities that exist, and, most importantly, whether an FTA might harm the many countries which it excludes. This issue of Commonwealth Trade Hot Topics summarises the key findings of a recent study commissioned by the Commonwealth Secretariat on the potential implications of an EU–India FTA on the excluded countries.


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