‘Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA)’ is sometimes seen in the news in the context of negotiations held between India and
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2017 Prelims]
(a) European Union
(b) Gulf Cooperation Council
(c) Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
(d) Shanghai Cooperation Organization
- India and the European Union (EU) initiated negotiations on a comprehensive Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) on June 28, 2007, in Brussels, Belgium. Therefore, statement 1 is correct.
- The objective of the BTIA is to enhance bilateral trade by eliminating trade barriers in goods, services, and investments across all sectors of the economy, as both parties believe that an ambitious agreement consistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) principles would create new markets and expand opportunities for businesses from both India and the EU.
- The negotiations encompass various areas such as trade in goods, trade in services, investment, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, trade remedies, rules of origin, customs and trade facilitation, competition, trade defense, government procurement, dispute settlement, intellectual property rights, geographical indications, and sustainable development.
- However, challenges arose during the negotiations as the EU expressed a desire to include labor, environment, and government procurement in the talks, which was not enthusiastically received by India. On the other hand, India sought easier work visa and study visa norms, as well as data secure status, to facilitate outsourcing by European companies, but this was met with mixed reactions from EU countries.