Enlarged EU Will Benefit India, Says EU Envoy

New Delhi, April 26 | Updated: Apr 27 2004, 05:30am hrs
The enlargement of the European Union (EU) on May 1 will be beneficial for India, since most of the third country benefits will accrue to it, ambassador of the delegation of the European Commission to India Francisco da Camara Gomes has said.

Addressing a meeting organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) he said, for trade in goods, the new member states will have to adopt the community common customs tariff (CCT) upon accession.

The average weighted industrial tariffs of the acceding countries are in general higher than the 3.6 per cent average for the European Union.

Ten new countries:- Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia will be joining EU on May 1.

And as far as farm products are concerned, most acceding countries have a lower average rate, though the biggest agricultural economies such as Poland and Hungary have rates that are higher than the average tariff for EU imports of farm goods. Thus, in most cases, third countries business will benefit from lower tariffs, he added.

In case of services, he said, third countries service providers will benefit from the implementation of the single market in acceding countries, where they will get the same treatment as in the rest of the EU.

Third countries will receive enhanced levels of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection in the acceding countries due to their adoption of EU directives in this field upon accession, he added.

Mr Gomes said that the enlargement would mean even larger market than before for the third countries like India with a population of almost 455 million and GDP of around Euro 9712 billion.