This report analyses the effects of a regional trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and India, for which negotiations are underway. The study starts with abrief overview of the key insights from the existing literature on FTAs and their relationship with multilateral negotiations. The remainder of the study is devoted to analysing the impact of tariff slashes under an FTA on merchandise trade between the EU and India. Of particular interest are the implications for agricultural markets, given the tension between agricultural liberalisation and India's policy goals relating to self-sufficiency in food grains and poverty reduction. The analysis employs GTAP, a global general equilibrium model using a recent database which has 2004 as its reference year. The results suggest that India's interests in a regional trade agreement with the EU are downplayed by the fact that India's economy is not well integrated in global markets. Impacts on the EU are minor and further reduced if a Doha agreement is in place when the FTA is implemented. Results indicate the rationale for a strongly asymmetric arrangement: it would be in the interest of both partners if the EU provides large concessions to India for market access, while India maintains the bulk of current border protection. An EU - India FTA delivers little scope for achieving efficiency gains via adjustments to the pattern of international specialisation. An EU - India agreement on merchandise trade is unlikely to embody substantial preferential treatment with regard to market access. Probably, India can find more suitable FTA partners. Agriculture is a key sector for India in the consideration of equity and growth purposes of a FTA with EU.
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