"High time for a free trade agreement between the EU and India"


Since 2013, negotiations on an EU free trade agreement with India have been frozen. It is high time to revive these talks.

Commenting on the 1st India-EU High Level Dialogue on Trade and Investment , Ulrich Ackermann, Head of the Foreign Trade Department at VDMA, says:

"It is high time to revive the negotiations for a EU free trade agreement with India, which have been frozen since 2013. The economic environment has changed dramatically. The recently concluded RCEP agreement, which links many countries in Asia, must be a wake-up call for both the EU and India. India is not a partner state in the RCEP and is otherwise poorly integrated into the global economy in general. The EU and Germany are seeking a comprehensive and ambitious agreement. VDMA member companies face both tariff and non-tariff barriers in India, which could be overcome by concluding a free trade agreement to the benefit of both partners.

"VDMA member companies face obstacles in India that could be overcome by concluding a free trade agreement."

In 2019, German companies exported engineering products worth around 3 billion euros to India. This ranks India's export market as the 2nd most important Asian partner country after China. This shows what an important partner the South Asian subcontinent already is. For European manufacturers, companies from China, Japan and South Korea are the main competitors in the mechanical engineering sector in India. In this respect, a free trade agreement would improve the competitiveness of our industry in India and at the same time further open up the EU market for Indian manufacturing companies and service providers."