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06/09/2011

EU wines to get cheaper as India willing to cut duty

Imported liquor is likely to get cheaper, with the government willing to lower import duty on alcohol from the European Union in return for easier visa norms and greater market access to Indian products there.

India and the European Union (EU) are in the final leg of talks for a free trade agreement. While India is seeking enhanced market access for its textiles and farm products, and more openings for its professionals, the EU wants import duty on its wines and spirits lowered in India, a sticky issue for many years.

"We are open to doing (lowering duty) that provided we get market access in other areas," a commerce department official said. The India-EU bilateral trade and investment agreement, likely to be signed later this year, is expected to give a 30% boost to two-way trade, which now stands at about $75 billion.