India pitches for ‘data secure’ status at EU trade talks

New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) India and the European Union (EU) failed to make any substantive progress in their trade and investment talks in Brussels as the two sides stuck to their long-standing demands during the ministerial meeting.

India made a strong pitch for declaring it as a “data secure country” that will help boost software exports. Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma underscored the country’s interest in IT and movement of Indian professionals and the importance of getting a good package on services.

The EU conveyed its strong interest in financial services, automobile sector, wines and spirits and cheese, according to a statement released by the commerce ministry here Tuesday.

“EU also sought assurance on the facilitation of registration of their Geographical Indicators,” the statement said.

Sharma co-chaired the talks with EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Dacian Ciolos.

The discussion took place just three days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and German Chancellor Angela Merkel showed their commitment for the deal. Analysts were expecting some substantial progress on the deal after assurances from the top leadership.

The next ministerial meeting for the India-European Union broad-based trade and investment agreement is scheduled to take place in June.

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