Brussels/Frankfurt, 16 June 2022 – The EU is about to enter a new round of free trade talks with India. It’s high time that these talks start earnestly, says Ulrich Ackermann, Managing Director of VDMA’s Foreign Trade Department. Europe’s largest industrial association for mechanical engineering has a special interest in a successful end to these talks, as Ackermann explains:
“It was time to restart the free trade negotiations with India. After all, the country is a major growth market in Asia and has been far too little in the focus of European policy so far. The negotiations open-up the opportunity to dismantle numerous trade barriers in India. A new study, which we will present on 22 June, shows that Indian import tariffs in the mechanical engineering sector are on average 7.5 percent and are thus among the highest in the world.
India is a major growth market in Asia and has been far too little in the focus of European policy so far.Ulrich Ackermann, Head of VDMA Foreign Trade Department
In terms of national subsidies and export promotion measures, India has also taken numerous measures in recent years that fall under the heading of trade barriers. Finally, the country is a frontrunner in local content requirements in public procurement. But the EU also has to make concessions to India in the free trade negotiations. This is not only about access for agricultural products and long-term visas for qualified Indian workers, but also about closer cooperation on technology issues. To this end, EU Member States would have to facilitate export licences for technology exports to India within the framework of the Free Trade Agreement.”
The VDMA is Europe’s most important mechanical engineering industry associaton and represents more than 3,400 German and European companies. The industry stands for innovation, export orientation and medium-sized businesses. The companies employ around four million people in Europe, more than one million of them in Germany alone. Mechanical and plant engineering represents a European turnover volume of around 800 billion euros. In the entire manufacturing sector, it contributes the highest share to the European gross domestic product with a value added of around 270 billion euros.