I wanted to bring you all up to speed with the European Parliament Report I have written this year in relation to the EU-India Free Trade Agreement.
This week in Strasbourg, we sent a strong message to India that an ambitious and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement will bring billions of pounds worth of investment and trade to both parties; the EU and India.
I was commissioned to author the report which states that the agreement between the EU and India will improve access for goods and services, containing provisions on regulatory transparency in areas relevant to mutual trade and investment, including standards and conformity assessment, intellectual property rights, public procurement, trade facilitation and customs. Human rights clauses also comprise an essential element of the FTA.
The benefits that this free trade agreement will bring to the North West of England could be endless. This really is an achievement for the North West of England and we must now encourage the large Indian Diaspora to help bring these benefits to the North West once the FTA has been finalized. Based on the complimentary factors of both economies, I wanted to stress the future potential for an increase in EU-India trade and investment between the EU and India and the enormous business opportunities arising from the FTA.
Trade between India and the EU has more than doubled in the past decade but a free trade deal would cause an explosion of transactions between us.
At a time when - despite the rhetoric to the contrary - all nations risk retreating into protectionism, it is all the more important that we achieve ambitious and far-reaching trade alliances. A free trade deal with India will increase investment and provide a much needed boost to global trade.
The Socialist MEPs had attempted to invert this report towards one that would enshrine protectionism. Fortunately we have overturned their position and sent a powerful signal that trade liberalisation is ultimately in all our interests.
Should you have any questions or queries relating to my report, or any other aspects of my work, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!