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India-EU free trade agreement by end-2011


London : India and the European Union are likely to sign a free trade agreement, aimed to boost the flow of trade and investment, by the end of this year, a statement said Tuesday.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and British Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne reiterated their commitment for the deal during a meeting here.

“Both sides are fully committed to ensure the conclusion of an ambitious and balanced broad-based EU-India Free Trade Agreement by the end of the year, and remain committed to achieving a development-focused outcome on the Doha round of WTO,” according to a joint statement.

The joint statement was issued after the fourth round of ministerial level India-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue held here Monday.

The two leaders have reiterated their commitment to work together at multilateral forums, including G20 and the International Monetary Fund.

“We have agreed to work together in the G20, the IMF, the FSB and the other international financial institutions in the key areas of strengthening economic surveillance, capital flow management and financial sector reform, to increase the resilience of the global economic and financial system,” the statement said.

“We also agreed to deepen our dialogue and technical cooperation to reduce distortions in commodity markets through the G20.”

Earlier, addressing a joint press conference with British Chancellor of Exchequer Monday, Mukherjee said India continued to be one of the favoured destinations for foreign direct investment.

“The ground reality is in the past three months, India has received more than $7.9 billion foreign direct investment — almost double the amount it recorded during the corresponding period of last year,” Mukherjee said.

“It speaks of our investment climate,” the finance minister said.