British opposition leader moots EU-India free trade deal

MUMBAI - The leader of Britain’s main opposition party on Tuesday mooted an EU-Indian free trade pact if the crippled Doha round of global trade talks fails.

By (AP)

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Published: Tue 5 Sep 2006, 1:12 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:15 PM

David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party on a four-day tour of the former British colony, has called for a “new special relationship” between the two countries to tap into the burgeoning Indian economy.

“We must try to restart the Doha round,” he said in comments released ahead of a keynote speech on the global economy to business leaders here Tuesday.

“But if we cannot get a breakthrough, we should consider the possibility of an EU/India free trade agreement.”

The Doha round of World Trade Organisation talks has failed to put a treaty in place by 2004 as planned to dismantle barriers and use trade to boost developing countries.

Talks among the 149 WTO nations stalled at the end of June this year over the issue of tariffs and subsidies, especially in agriculture.

The Indian government has said that rich countries need to bring forward proposals to try to revive the talks. It faces its own agricultural crisis with more than 10,000 farmers committing suicide over the last decade.

Suicides continue with more than 200 in the last month alone in the Vidarbha cotton growing belt of Maharashtra state.


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