India has delayed free trade agreement talks with the EU after the bloc banned the sale of 700 pharmaceutical products.
The Indian government in New Delhi said on Wednesday it was “disappointed and concerned” by the EU ban as pharmaceuticals was a “flagship sector” of the country. Officials from India and the 28-member EU were expected to meet later this month.
“It is pertinent to mention that most of these drugs have already been in the EU market for many years without any adverse pharmaco-vigilance report from any member state,” said a statement from the Commerce Ministry of India.
The EU ban came into effect in July after European regulators asked for suspending marketing approval for 25 generic drugs on concerns over the quality of data from clinical trials by India’s private firm, GVK Biosciences in January.
FTA talks between the EU and Asia’s third largest economy have been dragging on for years. Reducing Indian car import tariffs and caps on foreign investment in insurance are both of major interest to Germany, India’s biggest trading partner in Europe.
Free trade talks between India and Europe had stumbled earlier on access to India’s car and insurance markets.
The Indian economy is expected to expand 7.6 per cent this fiscal year ending in April 2016 – still a level that Europe, and even its biggest economy Germany, can only dream of at present.
TBP and Agencies