Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister for Commerce, Industry & Textiles in India, emphasised, at a bilateral meeting with the European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, that in order for the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) between the EU and India to be successful, India must be declared an adequate country for data transfers.

Shri Sharma indicated that India wishes to boost bilateral trade with the EU, seeking greater market access to the lucrative services sector. The Minister illustrated India’s strong investment appeal through its flexible Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) conditions, which have led to FDI inflows of $46 million since last year, an increase of nearly 35%.

The European Union is currently in the process of determining whether India’s laws meet an adequate level of data protection as stipulated by the EU Data Protection Directive. Shri Sharma acknowledged that India’s existing law does not meet the required EU standards, and he urged that the situation be rectified promptly in the wake of “almost all the major Fortune 500 companies (having) trusted India with their critical data”.