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India, EU free trade agreement to take more time: Ashton

Bangalore , Mon, 16 Jan 2012 ANI

Bangalore, Jan 16 (ANI): European Union foreign policy chief, Baroness Catherine Ashton, on Monday said a free trade agreement with India would take time to materialise, as all technical and political aspects would first have to be considered.


Ashton, who addressed a joint press conference here along with External Affairs Minister S. M Krishna, said: "Free trade agreement with India is an enormous importance to the European Union but also to India. As we were discussing before, between us we have 1.7 billion people under a huge range of industry, commerce, technology companies who would benefit greatly from our collaborations but as you will be aware making the details work and ensuring that we have got an agreement that covers all spectrums is going to take some time."


Ashton's two-day visit to India comes in a bid to prepare for the 12th India-EU Summit to be hosted by New Delhi next month.


Krishna said the two leaders had held discussions on strengthening bilateral trade and security ties, adding that the progress of the Joint Action Plan had also been reviewed.


"The two sides also took this opportunity to review the progress made in the implementation of the Joint Action Plan which remains as our guiding force of our relations," he said


Krishna also expressed his concerns over the continuing Euro zone debt crisis, and praised the steps taken by European leaders.


"We are happy to know that the European leaders have decided to take the required steps to contain the crisis and are confident that lasting remedies will be found and implemented," said Krishna.


"India believes that a revival of the European Union economies and Europe's continued growth is in the interest of the international community including India," he added. (ANI)


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