EU eyeing free trade deals in Asia: Mandelson

Brussels, March 21 | Updated: Mar 22 2006, 05:58am hrs
The European Union is exploring the prospect of free trade deals with Asian nations once the current round of world trade talks is over, EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said on Tuesday.

Mandelson stressed to a European Parliament committee that the Commission was giving top priority now to making a success of the stalled multilateral Doha trade liberalisation negotiations.But in a hint that Europe might follow the United States in seeking more bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs), he said: Securing effective market access for European goods and services in emerging economies such as those in Asia is high on our list of priorities.

We are also exploring the willingness of possible future FTA partners to make serious commitments, he said.

Reuters